Purpose of review
For invasive treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), we assess anatomical complexity, analyse surgical risk and make heart-team decisions for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). With PCI, treating flow-relevant lesions is recommended, and reintervention easily treats disease progression. For CABG, some stenoses may only be borderline or nonsevere despite a clear surgical indication. As reoperations are not easy, the question on how to address these lesions has been around from the start, but has never satisfactorily been answered.
With a new mechanistic perspective, we had suggested that infarct-prevention by surgical collateralization is the main prognostic mechanism of CABG in chronic coronary syndrome. Importantly, the majority of infarctions arise from nonsevere coronary lesions. Thus, surgical collateralization may be a valid treatment option for nonsevere lesions, but graft patency moves more into focus here, because graft patency directly correlates with the severity of coronary stenoses. In addition, CABG may even accelerate native disease progression.
We here review the evidence for and against grafting nonsevere CAD lesions, suggesting that patency of grafts (to moderate lesions) may be improved by increasing surgical precision. In addition, we must improve our ability to predict future myocardial infarctions.