• In vivo morphologic comparison of saphenous vein grafts and native coronary arteries following non-ST elevation myocardial infarction



    This study aimed to assess the pathophysiological differences between saphenous vein grafts(SVG) and native coronary arteries (NCA) following presentation with non-ST elevated myocardial infarction (NSTEMI).


    There is accelerated pathogenesis of de novo coronary disease in harvested SVG following coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery, which contributes to both early and late graft failure, and is also causal in adverse outcomes following vein graft PCI. However in vivo assessment, with OCT imaging, comparing the differences between vein grafts and NCAs has not previously been performed.


    We performed a retrospective, observational, analysis in patients who underwent PCI with adjunctive OCT imaging following presentation with NSTEMI, where the infarct-related artery(IRA) was either in an SVG or NCA.


    A total of 1550 OCT segments was analysed from thirty patients with a mean age of 66.3 (±9.0) years were included. The mean graft age of 13.9 (±5.6) years in the SVG group. OCT imaging showed that the SVG group had evidence of increased lipid pool burden (lipid pool quadrants, 2.1 vs 2.7; p = 0.021), with a reduced fibro-atheroma cap-thickness in the SVG group (45.0 μm vs 38.5 μm; p = 0.05) and increased burden of calcification (calcified lesion length = 0.4 mm vs 1.8 mm; p = 0.007; calcified quadrants = 0.2 vs 0.9; p = 0.001; arc of superficial calcium deposits = 11.6° vs 50.9°; p = 0.007) when compared to NCA.


    This OCT study has demonstrated that vein grafts have a uniquely atherogenic environment which leads to the development of calcified, lipogenic, thin-capped fibro-atheroma's, which may be pivotal in the increased, acute and chronic graft failure rate, and may underpin the increased adverse outcomes following vein graft PCI.


    Read the complete article on Science Direct

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