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What is the impact of endoscopic vein harvesting on clinical outcomes following coronary artery bypass graft surgery?
  1. S W Grant1,
  2. A D Grayson2,
  3. J Zacharias3,
  4. M J R Dalrymple-Hay4,
  5. P D Waterworth1,
  6. B Bridgewater1
  1. 1Department of cardiothoracic surgery, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Department of Information, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
  3. 3Department of cardiothoracic surgery, Lancashire Cardiac Centre, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool, UK
  4. 4Department of cardiothoracic surgery, Plymouth Derriford Hospital, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Ben Bridgewater, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK; ben.bridgewater{at}


Objective Endoscopic vein harvesting (EVH) is increasingly used as an alternative to open vein harvesting (OVH) for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Concerns about the safety of EVH with regard to midterm clinical outcomes following CABG have been raised. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of EVH on short-term and midterm clinical outcomes following CABG.

Design This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected multi-centre data. A propensity score was developed for EVH and used to match patients who underwent EVH to those who underwent OVH.

Setting Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Plymouth Derriford Hospital and the University Hospital of South Manchester were the main study settings.

Patients There were 4709 consecutive patients who underwent isolated CABG using EVH or OVH between January 2008 and July 2010.

Main outcome measures The main outcome measure was a combined end point of death, repeat revascularisation or myocardial infarction. Secondary outcome measures included in-hospital morbidity, in-hospital mortality and midterm mortality.

Results Compared to OVH, EVH was not associated with an increased risk of the main outcome measure at a median follow-up of 22 months (HR 1.15; 95% CI 0.76 to 1.74). EVH was also not associated with an increased risk of in-hospital morbidity, in-hospital mortality (0.9% vs 1.1%, p=0.71) or midterm mortality (HR 1.04; 95% CI 0.65 to 1.66).

Conclusions This multi-centre study demonstrates that at a median follow-up of 22 months, EVH was not associated with adverse short-term or midterm clinical outcomes. However, before the safety of EVH can be clearly determined, further analyses of long-term clinical outcomes are required.

  • Cardiac surgical procedures
  • minimally invasive surgical procedure
  • saphenous vein
  • survival
  • propensity score
  • arterial conduits
  • surgery—coronary bypass
  • surgery—valve
  • risk stratification
  • risk factors
  • coronary intervention (PCI)
  • minimally invasive
  • mitral valve prolapse
  • mitral regurgitation
  • aortic valve disease
  • cardiac surgery
  • heart transplant
  • quality of care and outcomes

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  • Competing interests BB is chairman of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery of GB and Ireland Database Committee. JZ has received speaker honoraria and travel grants for academic meetings from Maquet. MJRD-H has received honoraria for lectures and proctorships from Maquet. PDW has received travel grants for academic meetings from Baxter Healthcare and Edwards Lifesciences.

  • Ethics approval The Central Cardiac Audit Database has been granted section 251 approval by the National Information Governance Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.