Optimal medical therapy after coronary artery bypass grafting: a primer for surgeons
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: After coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), patients remain at increased risk of cardiovascular events and death. Cardiac surgeons have the opportunity to reduce this risk by optimizing post-CABG patients' medical therapy. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent developments in lipid-lowering, diabetes management, antithrombotic therapy, and anti-inflammatory therapy can significantly improve prognosis in patients with chronic coronary artery disease. PCSK-9 inhibitors should be used in patients with elevated LDL cholesterol despite maximally tolerated statin therapy. Icosapent ethyl should be considered in patients with elevated triglycerides despite maximally tolerated statin therapy. Long-acting GLP-1 receptor agonists or SLGT-2 inhibitors should be used in all post-CABG patients with type 2 diabetes. Intensified antithrombotic therapy with DAPT or DPI reduces MACE (and DPI reduces mortality) in patients with high atherosclerotic burden. Colchicine has not yet been incorporated into guidelines on OMT for stable CAD but it is reasonable to consider using it in high-risk patients. SUMMARY: We review the foundations of optimal medical therapy after CABG, and summarize recent advances with a focus on practical application for the busy cardiac surgeon.
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