A Prospective Randomized Study of Endoscopic Versus Conventional Harvesting of the Radial Artery

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Abstract

Objective

The aims of the study were to determine whether endoscopic harvesting of the radial artery (RA) reduces morbidity due to pain, infection, and disability with improvement in satisfaction and cosmesis compared to the conventional technique and (2) to compare the 6-month angiographic patency of the RA harvested conventionally and endoscopically.

Methods

In a prospective randomized study, 119 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting using the RA were randomized to have RA harvested either conventionally (n = 59) or endoscopically (n = 60).

Results

Radial artery harvest time (open wound time) was significantly reduced in the endoscopic group (36.5 ± 9.4 vs 57.7 ± 9.4 minutes, P < 0.001). Only one patient developed wound infection (1.6%) in the endoscopic group compared with six patients (10.2%), P = 0.061, in the conventional group. Although this was not statistically significant, clinically this was relevant in terms of reduction in postoperative morbidity. Postoperative pain in the arm incision was significantly lower in the endoscopic group at postoperative day 2 (P < 0.001) and at discharge (P < 0.001) and similar to the conventional open group at 6 weeks' follow-up (P = 0.103). Overall patient satisfaction and cosmesis were significantly better in the endoscopic group at postoperative day 2 (P < 0.001), at discharge (P < 0.001), and at 6 weeks' follow-up (P < 0.001). There was no difference in the arm disability postoperatively (P = 0.505) between the two groups. Six-month angiographic assessment of 23 patients (12 endoscopic and 11 open) revealed no difference in the patency rate (10/12 in endoscopic and 9/11 in open group).

Conclusions

Endoscopic RA harvesting reduced the incidence of postoperative wound infection and wound pain and improved patient satisfaction and cosmesis compared with conventional harvesting technique. There was no difference in the 6-month angiographic patency of the RA harvested conventionally and endoscopically.

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