In the second half of the 20th century, a group of surgeons advanced the work of early pioneers in cardiothoracic surgery who had first introduced surgical procedures to relieve heart disease. Two of these men were from institutions in America’s heartland: Dr. John Kirklin worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, while at nearby University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; and Dr. Clarence Walton “Walt” Lillehei pioneered open heart surgery.
Perhaps no one person embodies the advancements in the surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases during the 20th century more than Dr. Michael Ellis DeBakey. As a world-renowned scientist, innovator, medical educator, administrator, author, medical statesman and humanitarian, his name has become synonymous with firsts in surgery, biomedical innovations and the establishment of several educational and medical institutions.
The Left Internal Mammary Artery (LIMA), also known as the Left Internal Thoracic Artery (LITA), has been the gold standard conduit of choice for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) for several decades.
More than 30 years ago, Boylan et al published a study in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery in which the long-term results of 200 patients who underwent CABG, 100 of whom received a LIMA — left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) bypass graft and the second 100 who received a saphenous vein (SVG) to LAD bypass graft, were analyzed.
Doctors from Inova Heart & Vascular Institute, Falls Church, Virginia, recently published their findings after comparing the precision of three risk scores used to measure the quality of cardiac surgical care. They compared the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) surgical risk score, primarily used in the United States, with the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE II, EuroSCORE I).
The original EuroSCORE I was developed between 1995 and 1999 from data of 19,000 cardiac surgery patients, most of whom had undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. About a third underwent valve surgery. The EuroScore I was updated in 2012 to be more user-friendly and applicable to a greater number of procedures.