Surgeon Judgment and Utility of Transit Time Flow Probes in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery

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IMPORTANCETransit time flow (TTF) probes may be useful for predicting long-term graft patency and assessing grafts intraoperatively in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG); however, studies of TTF probe use are limited.OBJECTIVETo examine 1-year graft patency and intraoperative revision rates in patients undergoing CABG based on intraoperative TTF assessment.DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTSRetrospective analysis of a multicenter randomized clinical trial conducted at 18 Veterans Affairs hospitals using the Randomized On/Off Bypass (ROOBY) Trial data set. Of the original 2203 patients undergoing CABG surgery with or without cardiopulmonary bypass from February 1, 2002, through May 31, 2008, we studied a subset of 1607 who underwent TTF probe analysis of 1 or more grafts during surgery.EXPOSURESUse of TTF probes to assess graft flow and pulsatility index (PI) values. The decision to revise a graft was based on the judgment of the attending surgeon.MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURESRates of 1-year FitzGibbon grade A patency and intraoperative revision were compared based on TTF measurements (<20 [low flow] vs ≥20 mL/min [normal flow]) and PI values (<3, 3-5, and >5).RESULTSWe measured TTF and/or PI in 2738 grafts, and 1-year patency was determined in 1710 (62.5%) of these grafts. FitzGibbon grade A patency occurred significantly less often in grafts with a TTF with low flow (259 of 363 [71.3%]) than in those with normal flow (1174 of 1347 [87.2%]; P < .01). FitzGibbon grade A patency was also inversely correlated with increasing PI values, as found in 936 of 1093 grafts (85.6%) with a PI less than 3, 136 of 182 grafts (74.7%) with a PI of 3 to 5, and 91 of 134 grafts (67.9%) with a PI greater than 5 (P ≤ .01). Intraoperative graft revision was more frequent in grafts with low flow (44 of 568 [7.7%]) than in those with normal flow (8 of 2170 [0.4%]; P < .01). Graft revision was also more frequent as PI increased (12 of 1827 [0.7%] with a PI <3, 9 of 307 [2.9%] with a PI 3-5, and 9 of 155 [5.8%] with a PI >5; P < .01).CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCEIntraoperative TTF probe data may be helpful in predicting long-term patency and in the decision of whether to revise a questionable graft for patients undergoing CABG surgery.

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