Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in a Patient with Malignant Rheumatoid Arthritis

(Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan and Yokohama City University Medical Center*, Yokohama, Japan)

Tomoki Choh Kiyotaka Imoto* Shinichi Suzuki
Keiji Uchida* Hiromasa Yanagi* Kensuke Kobayashi*
Kouichirou Date* Motohiko Gouda* Munetaka Masuda
The patient was a 39-year-old woman. Malignant rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed when she was 32 years old, and the patient was treated with oral steroids. She presented at our center with sudden precordial pain. Coronary angiography revealed severe stenosis of the left main coronary artery (segment 5, 99%). Acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary edema were diagnosed. The patient underwent off-pump coronary-artery bypass grafting, with anastomosis of the left internal thoracic artery to the left anterior descending artery. One year 3 months later, the patient was readmitted to the hospital because of recurrent angina pectoris and heart failure. Coronary angiography showed patency of the left internal thoracic artery and severe stenoses of the left main coronary arteryisegment 5, 100%), circumflex artery (segment 11, 99%), and right coronary artery (segment 1, 90%), suggesting angiitis. On-pump coronary-artery bypass grafting was done, with anastomosis of the right internal thoracic artery to the right coronary artery (segment 2) and the gastro-omental artery to the obtuse marginal branch (segment 12). The patient is being followed up on an outpatient basis. There are few reports describing patients with rheumatoid arthritis who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery. However, the most common cause of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis is coronary-artery disease. Although the patient was still young, coronary-artery disease progressed rapidly. Such rapid progression was attributed to difficulty in controlling the inflammatory response after initial surgery, as well as to changes in vascular endothelial cells caused directly by treatment with steroids. Possible adverse effects of such treatment should be carefully considered.
@Jpn. J. Cardiovasc. Surg. 37: 259-263 (2008)