Fat tissue surrounding thoracic arteries may be beneficial

December 01, 2005

A team of McMaster researchers has discovered that fat tissue surrounding thoracic arteries may be beneficial in patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery.

A study led by Yu-Jing Gao, of the Department of Anesthesia, found that fat surrounding internal thoracic arteries produces a factor that can relax the artery. That finding could lead to an answer to one of the challenges that cardiac surgeons face during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery.

A report on the study was published in the October edition of The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Dr. Robert Lee, also of the Department of Anesthesia and a researcher who worked on the study, explained that arteries used for grafting will contract during surgery, making it more difficult for the surgeon performing the procedure, and restricting blood flow in the artery following the surgery.

Drugs are often used to prevent the contraction, but a study published two years ago showed that one of the drugs most commonly used for that purpose could cause cellular damage to the blood vessel. That finding created the need to look for alternative methods for keeping the grafted artery relaxed during and after surgery.

"We have demonstrated for the first time that fat surrounding the internal thoracic artery of humans produces a factor which can relax the artery," said Lee. "This is potentially important, because retaining the fat tissue surrounding these artery grafts during CABG, may help alleviate or prevent artery contraction."

During CABG, surgeons usually remove the fat tissue surrounding the artery they are using for grafting, to give them access to more of the artery surface and making the procedure easier to perform.

Dr. Lee said the next step will be to determine if clinical evidence shows that leaving the fat tissue intact during CABG surgery provides for better blood flow than is shown by patients in which the fat tissue is removed.

McMaster University

Related Blood Flow Articles from Brightsurf:

Brain regions with impaired blood flow have higher tau levels
In Alzheimer's disease, impaired blood flow to brain regions coincides with tau protein buildup.

3D ultrasound enables accurate, noninvasive measurements of blood flow
A 3D ultrasound system provides an effective, noninvasive way to estimate blood flow that retains its accuracy across different equipment, operators and facilities, according to a new study.

Blood flow recovers faster than brain in micro strokes
Work by a Rice neurobiologist shows that increased blood flow to the brain is not an accurate indicator of neuronal recovery after a microscopic stroke.

Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain
Scientists have collected plenty of evidence linking exercise to brain health, with some research suggesting fitness may even improve memory.

3D VR blood flow to improve cardiovascular care
Biomedical engineers are developing a massive fluid dynamics simulator that can model blood flow through the full human arterial system at subcellular resolution.

MRI shows blood flow differs in men and women
Healthy men and women have different blood flow characteristics in their hearts, according to a new study.

Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.

Blood flow monitor could save lives
A tiny fibre-optic sensor has the potential to save lives in open heart surgery, and even during surgery on pre-term babies.

Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate
Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish.

Blood flow command center discovered in the brain
An international team of researchers has discovered a group of cells in the brain that may function as a 'master-controller' for the cardiovascular system, orchestrating the control of blood flow to different parts of the body.

Read More: Blood Flow News and Blood Flow Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.