Acute effects of 17β-estradiol on left internal mammary graft after coronary artery bypass grafting

Gianluca Polvani, Maria Rosa Marino, Maurizio Roberto, Luca Dainese, Alessandro Parolari, Giulio Pompilio, Silvia Di Matteo, Andrea Fumero, Aldo Cannata, Fabio Barili, Paolo Biglioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Vasospasm of arterial conduits used for coronary surgical procedures is an important cause of postoperative graft failure. Mounting experimental evidence suggests that estrogen reverses acetylcholine-induced vasospasm of the coronary arteries in animals and humans. Estrogen also affects endothelium-derived constrictor factors. We therefore investigated the in vivo vasomotor responses to transdermal 17β-estradiol of the left internal mammary artery (LIMA) grafted on the anterior descending coronary artery. Methods. We studied 20 women, mean age of 62 ± 7.2 years (range, 48 to 73 years), who had undergone cardiopulmonary bypass for coronary artery bypass grafting. They received transdermal 17β-estradiol on the fifth day after operation. The diameter, cross-sectional area, and blood flow of the LIMA graft were measured by transthoracic color Doppler echography before (basal values) and after the transdermal administration of 50 μg of 17β-estradiol (control). Results. LIMA graft vasodilation after the administration of 17β-estradiol was observed. A significant increase in diameter (2.06 ± 0.4 mm versus 2.37 ± 0.28 mm; p = 0.035) and cross-sectional area (3.45 ± 1. 2 mm2 versus 4.24 ± 1 mm2; p = 0.039) was registered. The LIMA graft mean flow increased by 49% (44.76 ± 27.19 mL/min versus 56.62 ± 27.69 mL/min), but this increase was not statistically significant (p = 0.06). Conclusions. The acute postoperative transdermal administration of 17β-estradiol induced a significant increase of LIMA graft diameter and cross-sectional area in postmenopausal women who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting. The LIMA graft vasodilation was also associated with an improvement in LIMA blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-699
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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