Associations between adding a radial artery graft to single and bilateral internal thoracic artery grafts and outcomes. Insights from the Arterial Revascularization Trial

David P. Taggart, Douglas G. Altman, Marcus D. Flather, Stephen Gerry, Alastair M. Gray, Belinda Lees, Umberto Benedetto, ART Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Background—Whether the use of the radial artery (RA) can improve clinical outcomes in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery remains unclear. The Arterial Revascularization Trial (ART) was designed to compare survival after bilateral internal thoracic artery (BITA) over single left internal thoracic artery (SITA). In the ART, a large proportion of patients (~20%) also received a RA graft instead of a saphenous vein graft (SVG). We aimed to investigate the associations between using the RA instead of SVG to supplement SITA or BITA grafts and outcomes by performing a post-hoc analysis of the ART. 

Methods—Patients enrolled in the ART (n=3102) were classified based on conduits actually received (as treated). The analysis included 2737 patients who received a RA graft (RA group, n=632) or SVG only (SVG group, n=2105) in addition to SITA or BITA grafts. The primary endpoint was the composite of myocardial infarction, cardiovascular death and repeat revascularization at 5 years. Propensity score matching and stratified Cox regression were used to compare the two strategies. 

Results—MI, cardiovascular death and repeat revascularization cumulative incidence was 2.3% (95%CI 1.1-3.4), 3.5% (95%CI 2.1-5.0) and 4.4% (95%CI 2.8-6.0) in the RA group and 3.4% (95%CI 2.0-4.8), 4.0% (95%CI 2.5-5.6) and 7.6% (95%CI 5.5- 9.7) in the SVG group respectively. The composite endpoint was significantly lower in the RA group (8.8%; 95%CI 6.5-11.0) when compared with the SVG group (13.6%; 95%CI 10.8-16.3) (P=0.005). This association was present when a RA graft was used to supplement both SITA and BITA grafts (interaction P=0.62). 

Conclusions—This post-hoc ART analysis showed that an additional RA was associated with lower risk for mid-term major adverse cardiac events when used to supplement SITA or BITA grafts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-463
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Early online date31 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

Cite this