Outcome assessment of hand function after radial artery harvesting for coronary artery bypass

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The radial artery has gained widespread acceptance as a conduit for coronary artery bypass. Advantages include minimal donor site discomfort, ease of handling, excellent early patency rates, and the possibility of freedom from late conduit atherosclerosis. Although most series describe minimal morbidity, a significant incidence of radial sensory neuropathy and isolated instances of hand claudication and ischemia have been reported. We performed an outcome study utilizing the Short Form-36, the Upper Limb-Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand, and a modified self-administered hand diagram to compare 288 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass utilizing the radial artery with a control group of 174 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass without the radial artery. The data were analyzed by the t test for continuous variables and the chi-square test for categorical variables, and subsequently a multivariate regression model was constructed. No patients developed hand claudication or ischemia. Although there was an incidence of radial sensory neuropathy of 9.9% associated with radial artery harvest, it was not significantly higher than the incidence in the control group (5.2%, p = .16). Intrinsic patient factors such as obesity, age, diabetes, and peripheral vascular disease were the principal determinants of overall health and quality of life issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-637
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004



  • outcome measures
  • Radial artery
  • sensory neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

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