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Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Aug;96(2):543-7. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2013.04.039. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Fasudil is a superior vasodilator for the internal thoracic artery in coronary surgery.

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1
Department of General and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa, Japan. watago6633@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The internal thoracic artery (ITA) is a very useful conduit for coronary artery bypass artery (CABG), with excellent long-term patency. With the purpose to dilate the ITA graft and increase graft free flow (GFF) intraoperatively, we evaluated the usefulness of intraluminal injection of fasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, in comparison to the conventional graft dilating agent, papaverine.

METHODS:

Between June 2011 and January 2012, 30 patients with ischemic heart disease who underwent isolated CABG using ITA were enrolled. The patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups: the fasudil group (n = 15) in which fasudil solution 0.9 mg/dL was injected into the ITA, and the papaverine group (n = 15) in which papaverine solution (0.4 mg/mL) mixed with heparinized blood was used. Outcome measures were left ITA GFF, heart rate, and mean blood pressure during flow measurements, and histopathologic examination of the ITA.

RESULTS:

In the fasudil group, GFF increased significantly (p < 0.01) from 19.7 ± 15.2 mL/minute at baseline to 66.9 ± 31.7 mL/minute after fasudil injection. In the papaverine group, GFF increased significantly (p < 0.01) from 22.9 ± 17.3 mL/minute at baseline to 44.8 ± 26.7 mL/minute after papaverine injection. Blood pressure and heart rate did not change significantly after drug injection in both groups. The GFF was significantly higher (p = 0.038) in fasudil-treated ITA than in papaverine-treated ITA. Histopathologically, the diameter of the ITA was markedly increased after fasudil injection. Elastica van Gieson staining showed that the multiple elastic lamellae structure was intact.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fasudil exhibited very potent vasodilatory effect on the ITA compared with conventional papaverine resulting in increased GFF. This agent is a useful graft dilating agent.

KEYWORDS:

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