Thorac cardiovasc Surg
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1603451
Letter to the Editor
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Focusing on Patient Subcategories: When Could We Expect a Suboptimal Late Result after Coronary Endarterectomy?

Marco Russo1, Paolo Nardi2, Guglielmo Saitto3, Emanuele Bovio2, Giovanni Ruvolo2
  • 1Department of Cardiac Surgery, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy
  • 2Cardiac Surgery Unit, University Tor Vergata, Policlinico Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
  • 3Cardiac Surgery Unit, Universita degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia, Roma, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

05 April 2017

20 April 2017

Publication Date:
30 May 2017 (eFirst)

Reply by the Authors of the Original Article

We read with very interest the paper from Bitan et al,[1] in which they optimally described their experience in the treatment of complex coronary patients by means of coronary artery bypass grafting and adjunctive coronary endarterectomy (CE) on the left anterior descending (LAD) or patch angioplasty. With a detailed follow-up, they have reported a satisfactory 5-year survival and a good freedom from repeated revascularization. These data strongly confirmed our recent published clinical experience.[2] Although we did not perform an angiographic follow-up of 72 patients undergoing CE (2006–2013), we focused on the results based on single versus double antiplatelet protocols. At 7 years, freedom from death of any cause, including operative mortality was respectively in the single and dual antiplatelet groups of patients 73 ± 9% versus 81 ± 5%, while freedom from cardiac death was 84 ± 9% versus 85 ± 5%. These results showed that different antiplatelet therapies does not make difference in the early and late outcomes. We were really interested in achieving a complete understanding of which risk factors could influence survival, and at the Cox regression analysis we identified as independent predictors of late survival the age older than 70 years (odds ratio [OR]: 1.29; p = 0.003) and the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (OR: 23.8; p = 0.033). As far as we are concerned, patients with diffusive coronary artery disease represent a very complex category, in which both cardiac and noncardiac factors can play a crucial role. COPD was already been considered as a detrimental factor for coronary surgical patients.[3] We believe that the presence of COPD and older age could be therefore considered as potential risk factors to guide revascularization strategy in a specific direction, that is, avoiding CE in older and COPD patients, and taking into account alternative strategies of revascularization, that is, hybrid or, when feasible, percutaneous.

The study by Bitan et al gives us the opportunity to study not only clinical results of CE but also patch angioplasty. We would be really interested in knowing the authors' opinion regarding the potential role of risk factors, both cardiac and extracardiac, that could influence in their experience the late results. What could we learn more from your excellent follow-up?