Background Nearly 50% of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting have diabetes. However, little is known about the influence of diabetes on long-term patency of bypass grafts. Because patients with diabetes have more severe coronary artery stenosis, we hypothesized that graft patency is worse in patients with than without diabetes. Objectives This study sought to examine the influence of diabetes on long-term patency of bypass grafts. Methods From 1972 to 2011, 57,961 patients underwent primary isolated coronary artery bypass grafting. Of these, 1,372 pharmacologically treated patients with diabetes and 10,147 patients without diabetes had 15,887 postoperative angiograms; stenosis was quantified for 7,903 internal thoracic artery (ITA) grafts and 20,066 saphenous vein grafts. Status of graft patency across time was analyzed by longitudinal nonlinear mixed-effects modeling. Results ITA graft patency was stable over time and similar in patients with and without diabetes: at 1, 5, 10, and 20 years, 97%, 97%, 96%, and 96% in patients with diabetes, and 96%, 96%, 95%, and 93% in patients without diabetes, respectively (early p = 0.20; late p = 0.30). In contrast, saphenous vein graft patency declined over time and similarly in patients with and without diabetes: at 1, 5, 10, and 20 years, 78%, 70%, 57%, and 42% in patients with diabetes, and 82%, 72%, 58%, and 41% in patients without diabetes, respectively (early p < 0.002; late p = 0.60). After adjusting for patient characteristics, diabetes was associated with higher early patency of ITA grafts (odds ratio: 0.63; 95% confidence limits: 0.43 to 0.91; p = 0.013), but late patency of ITA grafts was similar in patients with and without diabetes (p = 0.80). Early and late patency of saphenous vein grafts were similar in patients with and without diabetes (early p = 0.90; late p = 0.80). Conclusions Contrary to our hypothesis, diabetes did not influence long-term patency of bypass grafts. Use of ITA grafts should be maximized in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting because they have excellent patency in patients with and without diabetes even after 20 years.
- coronary artery bypass grafting
- graft occlusion
- graft patency
- internal thoracic artery grafts
- saphenous vein grafts