ABSTRACT: Radial arteries have been increasingly used during the last decade as conduits for coronary artery revascularization. Although various harvesting techniques have been described, there has been little comparative study of arterial damage and patency. A radial artery graft was used in 44 consecutive patients, who were randomly divided into 2 groups. In the 1st group, the radial artery was harvested by sharp dissection and in the 2nd, by electrocautery. These groups were compared with regard to radial artery free flow, harvest time, number of clips used, complications, and endothelial damage. Radial artery free flow before and after intraluminal administration of papaverine was significantly greater in the electrocautery group (84.3 +/- 50.7 mL/min and 109.7 +/- 68.5 mL/min) than in the sharp-dissection group (52.9 +/- 18.3 mL/min and 69.6 +/- 28.2 mL/ min) (P=0.003). Harvesting time by electrocautery was significantly shorter (25.4 +/- 4.3 min vs 34.4 +/- 5.9 min) (P=0.0001). Electrocautery consumed an average of 9.76 clips, versus 22.45 clips consumed by sharp dissection. The 2 groups were not different regarding postoperative complications, except for 3 cases of temporary paresthesia of the thumb in the electrocautery group; histopathologic examination found no endothelial damage. We conclude that radial artery harvesting by electrocautery is faster and more economical than harvesting by sharp dissection and is associated with better intraoperative flow and good preservation of endothelial integrity.
Texas Heart Institute journal / from the Texas Heart Institute of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital 02/2006; 33(1):9-13. · 0.65 Impact Factor