Treatment with the combination of aspirin and dipyridamole is believed to reduce the incidence of coronary vein graft occlusion. A double blind randomised controlled trial was carried out in which aspirin 990 mg and dipyridamole 225 mg daily or placebo were added to the routine postoperative management (warfarin for three months) of 320 patients undergoing coronary bypass grafting. The trial treatment was given for 12 months, after which the results were assessed by coronary and graft angiography. The two randomised groups, each of 160 patients, were comparable in age, sex, symptomatic state, angiographic findings, and operative procedure. Repeat coronary arteriography was carried out on 266 patients, 133 in each group. All grafts and distal anastomoses were patent in 68% (91/133) of the placebo patients and in 75% (100/133) of those receiving active treatment. Overall graft patency was 87% (306/352) and 89% (342/385) respectively. Retrospective subgroup analysis showed patency rates of 72% (26/36) and 78% (39/50) of grafts to vessels requiring preliminary endarterectomy, and 80% (36/45) and 91% (40/44) of distal anastomoses to vessels measured at operation to have a diameter of less than or equal to 1 mm. None of these differences was significant at the 5% level. Thus in this group of patients with high graft patency rates, treatment with aspirin and dipyridamole conferred no appreciable advantage.
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