Aortocoronary bypass surgery: correlation of angiographic symptomatic and functional improvement at 1 yr
Angiographic changes in the coronary circulation were evaluated in 60 patients 1 year after aortocoronary bypass surgery, and their relation to the postoperative clinical status was examined. Of 124 grafts implanted, 26 were closed, 7 stenotic and 91 (74 per cent) patent at 1 year. Progression of occlusive disease occurred in 21 of 57 (37 percent) nongrafted and 78 of 123 (63 percent) grafted vessels. On the basis of location and severity of progression, significant lesions bypassed and patency of grafts, postoperative coronary perfusion was considered optimal in 16 patients (Group I), better in 24 (Group II) and the same or worse than before operation in 20 (Group III). Complete freedom from chest pain or lessening of pain (improvement by two New York Association functional classes) occurred in 88 and 79 percent of patients in Group I and II, respectively, but in only 50 percent of patients in Group III. Positive preoperative treadmill stress tests became negative after surgery in five of six patients in Group I, five of eight in Group II and three of eight in Group III. This study demonstrates that when progression of disease, graft patency and extent of revascularization are considered in combination, the postoperative angiographic status of the coronary circulation correlates well with clinical improvement at 1 year. These findings support the hypothesis that improved blood supply to ischemic myocardium is a major factor contributing to relief of angina pectoris after saphenous vein bypass surgery.
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