Daniel J F M Thuijs 1 , Margreet W A Bekker 1 , David P Taggart 2 , A Pieter Kappetein 1 , Teresa M Kieser 3 , Daniel Wendt 4 , Gabriele Di Giammarco 5 , Gregory D Trachiotis 6 , John D Puskas 7 , Stuart J Head 1
25 March 2019
Despite there being numerous studies of intraoperative graft flow assessment by transit-time flow measurement (TTFM) on outcomes after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), the adoption of contemporary TTFM is low. Therefore, on 31 January 2018, a systematic literature search was performed to identify articles that reported (i) the amount of grafts classified as abnormal or which were revised or (ii) an association between TTFM and outcomes during follow-up. Random-effects models were used to create pooled estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) of (i) the rate of graft revision per patient, (ii) the rate of graft revision per graft and (iii) the rate of graft revision among grafts deemed abnormal based on TTFM parameters. The search yielded 242 articles, and 66 original articles were included in the systematic review. Of those articles, 35 studies reported on abnormal grafts or graft revisions (8943 patients, 15 673 grafts) and were included in the meta-analysis. In 4.3% of patients (95% CI 3.3–5.7%, I 2 = 73.9) a revision was required and 2.0% of grafts (95% CI 1.5–2.5%; I 2 = 66.0) were revised. The pooled rate of graft revisions among abnormal grafts was 25.1% (95% CI 15.5–37.9%; I 2 = 80.2). Studies reported sensitivity ranging from 0.250 to 0.457 and the specificity from 0.939 to 0.984. Reported negative predictive values ranged from 0.719 to 0.980 and reported positive predictive values ranged from 0.100 to 0.840. This systematic review and meta-analysis showed that TTFM could improve CABG procedures. However, due to heterogeneous data, drawing uniform conclusions appeared challenging. Future studies should focus on determining the optimal use of TTFM and assessing its diagnostic accuracy.