Objective: To investigate whether supraclavicular ultrasonography of left internal mammary artery (LIMA) to left anterior descending (LAD) area grafts can reliably predict (distal) string sign grafts on arteriography. Methods: Fifty-five patients (42 M, 61 ± 7 years) with the LIMA to LAD area grafting were prospectively studied. Control arteriography was performed at 1.4 ± 0.8 years postoperatively. Angiography demonstrated in 46 patients (group I) functional grafts, in 4 patients (group II) sequential distal string sign grafts and in 5 patients (group III) total string sign grafts. Ultrasonography was performed at 1.8 ± 0.8 year postoperatively and compared with control angiography. Data were tested by unpaired t- and ANOVA tests. The diagnostic accuracy was assessed by the area under the curve of the Receiver Operator Characteristic. A formula was developed to predict the probability of (distal) string sign phenomena of sequential as well as single LIMA grafts. Results: Between the groups all duplex parameters showed a highly significant linear relation (p ≤ 0.004) and all parameters between group I and III are significantly different with high Area Under Curve values. The model for the probability of (distal) string sign grafts fitted best with diastolic and systolic peak velocities as the most discriminative factors for (distal) string sign grafts. Conclusions: Postoperative supraclavicular duplex as a method to assess the patency of LIMA to LAD area grafts allows discriminating functional grafts from (distal) string sign grafts.

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doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8175.2007.00461.x, hdl.handle.net/1765/36192
Echocardiography: a journal of cardiovascular ultrasound and allied techniques
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hartman, J.M, Kelder, H.C, Ackerstaff, R.G.A, van Swieten, H.A, Vermeulen, F.E.E, & Bogers, A.J.J.C. (2007). Can late supraclavicular echo Doppler reliably predict angiographical string sign of lima to lad area grafts. Echocardiography: a journal of cardiovascular ultrasound and allied techniques, 24(7), 689–696. doi:10.1111/j.1540-8175.2007.00461.x