The contribution of biomechanical factors to the incidence and distribution of coronary artery and bypass graft disease is underrecognized. This review examined the literature to determine which factors were relevant and the evidence for their importance. It identified two primary biomechanical factors that predispose to disease: (1) low-wall shear stress and (2) high-wall mechanical stress or strain. A range of secondary biomechanical factors have also been identified and include: vessel geometry; vessel movement; vessel wall characteristics and the presence of reflection waves. Potential surgical approaches for minimizing these effects are discussed.
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