Using the Bilateral Internal Mammary Artery in the Left or Right Coronary Artery System: 5-Year Comparison of Operation Techniques and Angiographic Results


  • Mehmet Erdem Toker
  • Suat Nail Ömeroglu
  • Kaan Kirali
  • Mehmet Balkanay
  • Cevat Yakut



Objective. Using the bilateral internal mammary artery (IMA) in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery has prolonged survival, improved functional capacity, and reduced the rate of reintervention without increasing postoperative early morbidity and mortality.

Methods. Between January 1996 and December 1997, 94 CABG operations were performed using the bilateral IMA. In Group A (n = 45), the right IMA was anastomosed to the left coronary artery system; in Group B (n = 49), the right IMA was anastomosed to the right coronary artery system. The left IMA was always anastomosed to the left coronary artery system in both groups.

Results. There was 1 death (Group A) (1.06%), and 1 late death (Group B) (1.07%). One patient in Group A underwent balloon angioplasty, and 1 patient in Group B underwent reoperation after the follow-up. Pre- and postoperative data were similar between both groups, except for off-pump CABG, which was higher in Group B (2.2% versus 36.7%; P <.001). Twenty-three randomized patients in each group underwent control angiography until May 2002. Angiographic results showed that the patency of the right IMA to the right or left coronary artery system was similar (78.26% versus 82.6%; P = .7). But the left IMA had a better patency rate than the right IMA (95.65% versus 80.43%; P = .02). The patency rates of the left and right IMA anastomosis on the beating heart in Group B were not significantly different (92.3% versus 76.9%; P = .27). The patency of right IMA anastomosis with or without off-pump technique in Group B was similar (76.9% versus 80%; P = .84).

Conclusions. Bilateral IMA can be used with low morbidity and mortality. The angiographic and clinical results of off-pump CABG show that bilateral IMA can also be used in off-pump surgery with similar results.


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How to Cite

Toker, M. E., Ömeroglu, S. N., Kirali, K., Balkanay, M., & Yakut, C. (2005). Using the Bilateral Internal Mammary Artery in the Left or Right Coronary Artery System: 5-Year Comparison of Operation Techniques and Angiographic Results. The Heart Surgery Forum, 8(6), E462-E467.