Wednesday, 2 February 2011

RADIAL ARTERY CONDUITS IN DIABETICS

This graphic, showing 95% CI bars for different variables comes from the recently published randomised control trial comparing outcomes after using radial artery  or saphenous vein as conduit on the second most important coronary artery (after LAD) in patients undergoing CABG. The reason for showing this is that although outcomes never reached statistical significance in either group, the graphic suggests that in diabetic patients, they nearly did (in favour of saphenous vein). I find this intriguing because the two occasions in my experience when the radial artery was unsuitable for use as a conduit, occurred in diabetic patients. On one of these, both the radial and ulnar arteries on the left arm were completely calcified and were visible on a subsequent plain XR of the forearm. Maybe radial arteries should not be used as conduits  in diabetic patients, period!