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BACKGROUND: Patients with diabetes and obesity are at higher risk of adverse long-term outcomes following coronary artery bypass grafting. The use of bilateral internal thoracic arteries (BITA) can potentially offer survival benefit in higher risk patients compared to single internal thoracic artery (SITA), but BITA is not routinely used due to lack of clear evidence of efficacy and concerns over sternal wound complications. METHODS: Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched for studies comparing the efficacy and safety of BITA and SITA grafting in patients with diabetes and obesity. Meta-analysis of mortality and sternal wound complications was performed. RESULTS: We identified eight observational and ten propensity matched studies, and one RCT, comparing BITA and SITA which included patients with diabetes (n = 19,589); two propensity matched studies and one RCT which included patients with obesity (n = 6,972); mean follow up was 10.5 and 11.3 years respectively. Meta-analysis demonstrated a mortality reduction for BITA compared to SITA in patients with diabetes (risk ratio [RR] 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70-0.90; p = 0.0003). In patients with obesity there was a non-significant reduction in mortality in the BITA group (RR 0.73, 95% CI 0.47-1.12; p = 0.15). There was a significantly higher rate of sternal wound complications following BITA observed in patients with diabetes (RR 1.53, 95% CI 1.23-1.90; p = 0.0001) and obesity (RR 2.24, 95% CI 1.63-3.07; p 

Original publication




Journal article


Int j cardiol heart vasc

Publication Date





Bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting, Coronary artery bypass grafting, Coronary artery disease, Diabetes, Obesity