Background: To obtain a saphenous vein graft (SVG) for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), the benefit of using a no-touch (NT) technique in vascular function has not been fully investigated. Methods and Results: The pathological and physiological functions of human SVGs with a NT technique to preserve the perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) and ones obtained by using a conventional (CON) technique removing PVAT, were examined. Immunohistochemistry of the section of SVGs showed that the phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the endothelium of the NT group was more responsive to vascular endothelial growth factor. A myograph of SVGs showed greater contraction with phenylephrine in the NT group. However, the strong contraction was eliminated in SVGs taken by electrocautery. In the 10 patients whose SVGs were taken without electrocautery, endothelial-dependent relaxation with bradykinin was apparently increased in the CON group more than in the NT group. Smooth muscle relaxation with nitroprusside was higher in the CON group at the lower concentrations; however, the relaxation became greater in the NT group at the high concentrations. Therefore, the effect of neutralizing PVAT-released factors in the both groups was further examined. After medium of NT and CON were exchanged in half, relaxation of SVGs was immediately restored in the NT group. Conclusions: The results suggest that the NT technique preserves the functions of vasoconstriction and relaxation. Also, the presence of PVAT-released vasoconstrictive factors was suspected.
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