Evaluation of patients after coronary artery bypass grafting.

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Evaluation of patients after coronary artery bypass grafting.

Cardiol Rev. 2009 Jul-Aug;17(4):176-80

Authors: Wann S, Balkhy H

Modern techniques for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) are highly successful. Nevertheless, over time, grafts do fail and native coronary artery disease does progress. Follow-up of patients after CABG should focus on secondary prevention, including careful attention to all modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Routine stress testing with or without imaging is usually not necessary if the patient is asymptomatic and engaging in normal physical activities, including moderate exercise without difficulty. Stress testing with electrocardiographic monitoring alone or in conjunction with nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging or echocardiography is commonly used if a patient develops recurrent symptoms post-CABG or is at particular high risk for complications. Computed tomography coronary angiography is a new, very powerful, noninvasive technique that can directly visualize both CABG and the native coronary arteries. Computed tomography coronary angiography is complimentary to functional stress testing in that it provides anatomic information about graft patency and native coronary artery stenoses, but the functional significance of these findings may still require stress testing with nuclear or ultrasound imaging. Further technical improvements, both in surgical techniques and in imaging, and prospective multicenter trials, are needed to better define the best methods for following patients post-CABG.

PMID: 19525679 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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