Graft patency is one of the major determinants of long-term outcome following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG). Biomarkers, if indicative of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms, would suggest strategies to limit graft failure. The prognostic value of microvesicles (MVs) for midterm graft patency has never been tested.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether MV pre-operative signature (number, cellular origin, procoagulant phenotype) could predict midterm graft failure and to investigate potential functional role of MVs in graft occlusion.
This was a nested case-control substudy of the CAGE (CoronAry bypass grafting: factors related to late events and Graft patency) study that enrolled 330 patients undergoing elective CABG. Of these, 179 underwent coronary computed tomography angiography 18 months post-surgery showing 24% graft occlusion. Flow cytometry MV analysis was performed in 60 patients (30 per group with occluded [cases] and patent [control subjects] grafts) on plasma samples collected the day before surgery and at follow-up.
Before surgery, cases had 2- and 4-fold more activated platelet-derived and tissue-factor positive MVs respectively than control subjects. The MV procoagulant capacity was also significantly greater. Altogether this MV signature properly classified graft occlusion (area under the curve 0.897 [95% confidence interval: 0.81 to 0.98]; p < 0.0001). By using an MV score (0 to 6), the odds ratio for occlusion for a score above 3 was 16.3 (95% confidence interval: 4.1 to 65.3; p < 0.0001).
The pre-operative signature of MVs is independently associated with midterm graft occlusion in CABG patients and a cumulative MV score stratifies patients’ risk. Because the MV signature mirrors platelet activation, patients with a high MV score could benefit from a personalized antiplatelet therapy.