Coronary artery bypass grafting for left main disease and the risk of stroke: Incidence, aetiology and prevention.
Pinho-Gomes AC., Taggart DP.
This review explores the association between left main disease and the increased risk of perioperative stroke following coronary artery bypass grafting, specifically addressing the potential underlying mechanisms and its potential prevention. In particular, this correlation appears stronger for patients with left main disease when compared to patients with isolated triple vessel disease. Even though evidence on this topic is limited and of modest quality, there appears to be a significant association between ascending aorta atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Furthermore, there seems to be a relationship between the severity and extent of carotid artery stenosis and coronary artery disease. Carotid artery disease is itself associated with atherosclerosis of the ascending aorta, a well-recognised risk factor for postoperative atheroembolic stroke. The association between left main disease, ascending aorta atherosclerosis and carotid artery stenosis may reflect an increased systemic atherosclerotic burden and hence explain, at least partially, the higher risk of perioperative cerebrovascular events. Potential pre-, intra- and post-operative strategies for stroke prevention are discussed.