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Effects of Skeletonized versus Pedicled Radial Artery on Postoperative Graft Patency and Flow.
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PMID:  24918911     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Background: Radial artery (RA) was the second arterial graft introduced in clinical practice for myocardial revascularization. The skeletonization technique of the left internal thoracic artery (LITA) may actually change the graft's flow capacity with potential advantages. This leads to the assumption that the behavior of the RA, as a coronary graft, is similar to that of the LITA, when skeletonized. Objective: This study evaluated 'free' aortic-coronary radial artery (RA) grafts, whether skeletonized or with adjacent tissues. Methods: A prospective randomized study comparing 40 patients distributed into two groups was conducted. In group I, we used skeletonized radial arteries (20 patients), and in group II, we used radial arteries with adjacent tissues (20 patients). After the surgical procedure, patients underwent flow velocity measurements. Results: The main surgical variables were: RA internal diameter, RA length, and free blood flow in the radial artery. The mean RA graft diameters as calculated using quantitative angiography in the immediate postoperative period were similar, as well as the flow velocity measurement variables. On the other hand, coronary cineangiography showed the presence of occlusion in one RA graft and stenosis in five RA grafts in GII, while GI presented stenosis in only one RA graft (p = 0.045). Conclusion: These results show that the morphological and pathological features, as well as the hemodynamic performance of the free radial artery grafts, whether prepared in a skeletonized manner or with adjacent tissues, are similar. However, a larger number of non-obstructive lesions may be observed when RA is prepared with adjacent tissues.
Authors:
Rômulo C Arnal Bonini; Rodolfo Staico; Mario Issa; Antoninho Sanfins Arnoni; Paulo Chaccur; Camilo Abdulmassih Neto; Jarbas Jackson Dinkhuysen; Paulo Paredes Paulista; Luiz Carlos Bento de Souza; Luiz Felipe P Moreira
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Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia     Volume:  102     ISSN:  1678-4170     ISO Abbreviation:  Arq. Bras. Cardiol.     Publication Date:  2014 May 
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Created Date:  2014-6-11     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
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Nlm Unique ID:  0421031     Medline TA:  Arq Bras Cardiol     Country:  -    
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Languages:  ENG; POR     Pagination:  441-448     Citation Subset:  -    
Vernacular Title:
Efeitos da Esqueletização em Comparação com a Manutenção do Pedículo da Artéria Radial sobre a Patência e Fluxo Pós-Operatórios do Enxerto.
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Journal ID (nlm-ta): Arq Bras Cardiol
Journal ID (iso-abbrev): Arq. Bras. Cardiol
Journal ID (publisher-id): Arq. Bras. Cardiol.
ISSN: 0066-782X
ISSN: 1678-4170
Publisher: Sociedade Brasileira de Cardiologia
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open-access:
Received Day: 26 Month: 9 Year: 2013
Revision Received Day: 04 Month: 10 Year: 2013
Accepted Day: 04 Month: 10 Year: 2013
Print publication date: Month: 5 Year: 2014
Volume: 102 Issue: 5
First Page: 441 Last Page: 448
PubMed Id: 24918911
ID: 4051446
DOI: 10.5935/abc.20140016

Effects of Skeletonized versus Pedicled Radial Artery on Postoperative Graft Patency and Flow
Rômulo C. Arnal Bonini1
Rodolfo Staico2
Mario Issa2
Antoninho Sanfins Arnoni2
Paulo Chaccur2
Camilo Abdulmassih, Neto2
Jarbas Jackson Dinkhuysen2
Paulo Paredes Paulista2
Luiz Carlos Bento de Souza2
Luiz Felipe P. Moreira1
1 Instituto do Coração (Incor), Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP - Brazil
2 Instituto Dante Pazzanese de Cardiologia, São Paulo, SP - Brazil
Correspondence: Mailing Address: Rômulo César Arnal Bonini, Divisão de Cirurgia Cardiovascular do Hospital Regional. Rua Winston Churchill, 234, apto. 1.402, Jardim Paulistano. Postal Code 19013-710, Presidente Prudente, SP - Brazil E-mail: romulobonini@terra.com.br.
[conflict] Potential Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.



Introduction

Radial artery (RA) was the second arterial graft introduced in clinical practice for myocardial revascularization1. Initially, it presented unfavorable angiographic results. However, with changes in the surgical technique and the use of spasm-preventing vasodilators, RA started to be used safely and with good results in the treatment of coronary diseases2.

RA skeletonized dissection was introduced by Taggart et al in 20013, based on the good results obtained with skeletonization of the left internal thoracic artery (LITA), which started with Cunningham et al in 19924. There is no question about the effects of pedicled LITA for myocardial revascularization, and notwithstanding these excellent results, the skeletonization technique of LITA may actually change the graft's flow capacity with potential advantages4-6. This leads to the assumption that the behavior of the RA, as a coronary graft, is similar to that of the LITA, when skeletonized.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to randomly compare the hemodynamic and functional performance of RA aorto-coronary grafts, prepared in a skeletonized manner or with adjacent tissues, by means of post-surgical angiography and flowmetry performed in the immediate postoperative period. Morphological and pathological features of these grafts were also compared.


Methods
Study population

This study was designed as a randomized clinical trial with distribution of twenty patients per group, according to RA dissection technique and preparation (Group I - skeletonized RA graft and Group II - RA graft with adjacent tissues). Patients diagnosed with stable angina, unstable angina, or a history of non-acute myocardial infarction (with or without ST-segment elevation) were included after free and clear discussion of risks, alternatives, and perceived benefits of the operations. The study protocol was approved by the institutional Research Ethics Committee and Scientific Review Board, and registered on the National Council of Research Ethics (CONEP). All patients gave written informed consent.

Patients with cineangiographic exams showing coronary stenoses above 70% and good distal anatomy7 in at least two main branches including the circumflex territory, and negative classic and modified Allen test8,9 in the forearm, which is intended for RA dissection, were selected. The following exclusion criteria were applied: (a) age over 70 years; (b) severe obesity; (c) positive Allen test10,11; (d) patients with arteriovenous fistula for hemodialysis, vasculitis, or Raynaud's disease; (e) RA presenting macroscopically visible calcifications or diffuse atherosclerotic disease; (f) redo operation; (g) additional procedure; (h) severely depressed left ventricular function; (i) contraindications for use of calcium-channel blockers; (j) contraindication for postoperative angiography; (j) acute myocardial infarct with or without ST-segment elevation; (k) patients with kidney failure, or peripheral arterial disease.

Forty patients were selected for this study. All patients had angina class 2-4 according to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Previous myocardial infarction (MI), number of diseased vessels, age, gender, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and others characteristics were similar for both groups and are shown in Table 1. All patients were operated on electively.

Surgical technique and pharmacological protocol

All patients were operated on under cardiopulmonary bypass with mild hypothermia (32-34°C) and intermittent aortic cross-clamping. Soon after discontinuation of cardiopulmonary bypass, intravenous nitroglycerin was administered for 48 hours, and replaced by an oral calcium-channel antagonist after this period.

The RA was dissected and prepared concomitantly with LITA dissection. The RA dissection technique was that proposed by Reyes et al12, and skeletonization, when applied, was performed out of the forearm with the use of scissors; collateral vessels were ligated using 4.0-cotton suture. Intraluminal filling of the RA grafts was performed using heparin-treated blood, and topical papaverine. LITA was used to graft the left anterior descending artery and all RA were used to graft the obtuse marginal artery, the intermediate branch or the first diagonal branch with lesions > 75%. RA grafts were anastomosed proximally in the aorta (retro-aortic), through the orifice performed with a scalpel, using continuous suture with 6.0 or 7.0 polypropylene, and distally to the coronary branches, using continuous end-to-side anastomosis with 7.0 polypropylene suture. The right coronary artery and its branches, as well as arteries with lesions > 75% received saphenous vein grafts.

The following intraoperative variables were analyzed: RA length and free RA flow. Pathological examination of RA endothelial behavior was also performed in both groups.

All patients received isosorbide mononitrate (0.8 mg/kg per min) and diltiazem (2 mg/kg per min) infused intraoperatively and up to 24 h after operation, followed by 20 mg and 180 mg/day orally, respectively, in addition to antiplatelet therapy for at least 6 months. The incidence of MI was monitored by electrocardiograms and serial analyses of serum CK-MB.

Angiography and flowmetry protocol

Patients underwent angiography and flowmetry between postoperative days 7 and 10. The test was performed via the femoral access. The grafts were analyzed by a senior cardiologist and classified according to presence or absence of: non-obstructive stenosis (< 50%), obstructive stenosis (> 50%) and total occlusion.

The average peak velocity and the RA graft flow were recorded in the initial portion (3 cm of the proximal anastomosis) of the RA in both groups. For these measurements, we used a 12-MHz Doppler guide of 0.014 inches (0.035 cm) in diameter, and 175 cm in length (Flowire; Cardiometrics Inc)13. The records were performed at rest and in hyperemia, which was induced by the injection of 30 µg of adenosine directly into the graft. Graft flow reserve consisted of the ratio between the peak velocities in hyperemia and at rest. The blood flow at the proximal portion of the grafts was calculated using the Doucette method13, with the time average of peak velocity and the cross-sectional area of the graft. This area was obtained after determining the diameter by quantitative angiography for the analysis of the margin contour. Absolute dimensions were calculated, using the diagnostic catheter diameter as reference.

Statistical analysis

Data are expressed as mean ± standard deviation or as percentages, and were analyzed using Mann-Whitney non-parametric test, chi-square or Fisher's exact test, when appropriate. The sample size was projected for a 90% power to identify a 10% difference in graft patency, with the significance level set at 5%. P values lower than 0.05 were considered significant, as determined using the SPSS for Windows, version 13.0 (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL).


Results

Each group comprised 20 patients. There was no hospital mortality. The surgical variables are shown in Table 1. The postoperative complications were: atrial fibrillation (five cases), paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (one case), bronchial pneumonia (one case), re-operation due to bleeding in the immediate post-operative period (two cases), surgical wound infection (one case). The length of the RA grafts in the intraoperative period was 171 ± 22.5 mm, on average, in GI, and 163.5 ± 24.4 mm in GII (p = 0.414); and the free RA stroke volume, as calculated with a similar mean blood pressure, was 84.6 ± 53.1 ml/min in GI, and 95.5 ± 63.3 ml/min in GII (p = 0.627). There were no differences between the groups as regards pathological examinations.

Angiographic data

Thirty-nine patients underwent cardiac catheterization in the immediate postoperative period. At the moment of the procedure, there were no variations in blood pressure, heart rate, and hematocrit between the groups. The previous global patency between the groups was similar (p = NS), of 100% in GI (n = 19), and of 95% in GII (n = 20); however, perfect patency was different (p = 0.045) due to the fact that GI presented only one RA graft with non-obstructive stenosis (< 50%), while GII presented five RA grafts with stenosis (Figure 1), in addition to one occlusion (Figure 2).

Quantitative Angiography

The mean proximal diameter of the RA was 2.66 ± 0.11 mm in GI, and 2.53 ± 0.05 mm in GII, with 95% CI (Figure 3).

The average peak velocities in the initial portion of the RA at rest was 18.92 ± 1.75 cm/s in GI, and 18 ± 1.9 cm/s in GII. The RA graft flow reserve was 2.12 ± 0.11 in GI, and 2.01 ± 0.1 in GII (Figure 4). The blood flow in the initial portion of the RA was 54.92 ± 7.66 ml/min in GI, and 44.19 ± 5.13 in GII (Figure 5).


Discussion

The present study did not demonstrate differences between the surgical characteristics of RA grafts. Taggart et al3 identified some advantages of the skeletonized RA, anticipating clearly its length, providing an option for the surgeon to choose the type of anastomosis (using it for more than one graft, sequentially, or also serving as an extension for other vessels)3. In this study, although we did not find any statistical differences between the groups regarding the RA length, skeletonization provided us with a better notion of the graft extension. Rukosujem observed the difference in the length of the skeletonized RA in relation to RAs with adjacent tissues, dissected with the use of scissors and clips14.

There were no anatomical and pathological differences between the groups. This includes severe endothelial lesion due to electrocauterization and intimal thickening. Rukosujem observed a larger number of endothelial lesions in patients that had RA skeletonized with ultrasonic scalpels14.

Achouh and Acar15 discussed the follow-up results of 629 radial artery grafts performed over 20 years. Focal stenosis occurred in 3% of RAs, while string signs were observed in 0.9%. Overall graft patency was 83%. Graft patency decreased exponentially during the first postoperative year, but patency declined at a linear rate with low attrition afterwards, suggesting a lack of radial graft disease15.

In the present study, the postoperative angiography showed evidences of a similar global patency between the groups, but a difference in perfect patency, due to the larger number of non-obstructive stenosis (<50%) and to an occlusion in the RA grafts with adjacent tissues. Skeletonization allows, thorough more faithful visual inspection, the identification of spasms or areas with lesions, which may not be visible in the grafts with adjacent tissues, thus improving the angiographic quality of the graft.

The difference between the global and perfect patency of the RA with adjacent tissues has been demonstrated since the 1990's by several authors. Parolari et al16 published a literature review presenting an early global average patency of 98.1%, and perfect patency of 90.8% of RA grafts with adjacent tissues17. The authors also reported average global and perfect patency rates of 93.3% and 78.8%, respectively, between 6 and 36 months after surgery. Similar differences were also observed by other authors18,19.

Corroborating the results of our angiographic investigation, Amano et al, in a non-random series of cases, found RA total patency of 98.6% and 98.8%, respectively, for skeletonized RA and with adjacent tissues; while perfect patency was of 96.5% and 84.9%, respectively20. Hirose et al showed early angiographic results of skeletonized RA with ultrasonic scalpels of 96% for perfect patency (free of stenosis), with no differences in comparison to the patency of other arterial grafts21. In 2004, Hirose et al also published angiographic outcomes of a one-year follow-up, showing that 20 patients who received skeletonized RA presented a perfect patency rate of 95.2%22.

Ali et al concluded that skeletonization of the RA provides valuable patency results. Therefore, if the RA is to be used as a conduit in Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery, it may be harvested in either a skeletonized or pedicled fashion, however, their study suggested that skeletonitazion may offer the radial conduit some patency benefit when compared to the pedicled technique23. Tokuda et al24 found that for grafts to the left coronary system, a mean flow < 15 ml/min, and for grafts to the right coronary system, a mean flow < 20 ml/min were predictive of graft failure.

The proximal internal diameters of the RA grafts, as calculated using the quantitative angiographic method were similar in this study. There is no previous information comparing the internal proximal diameter of RAs. However, when this parameter was analyzed in the skeletonized and pediculated LITA using quantitative angiography, a significant increase in the proximal internal diameter with skeletonization was described5.

Webb et al reported a radial artery diameter by quantitative coronary angiography of approximately 2.7 mm in 15 cases after a 5-year follow-up25.

In the analysis of the flow variables (intravascular blood flow, average peak velocity, RA graft flow reserve) using intravascular Doppler flowmetry in the immediate postoperative period, we did not observe any statistical difference between the two study groups. The intravascular Doppler methodology employed in this study for the collection of data (blood flow velocity) is highly reliable13. The behavior of blood flow of the LITA graft to the left anterior descending artery had already been studied by Akasaka et al using Doppler flowmetry in 199526. They showed that the blood flow was of 62±17 ml/min at rest and the coronary flow reserve, of 1.8 ± 0.3. Similar results were also observed by Gurné et al27. Takami and Ina5 compared two strategies for the dissection of LITA - skeletonized and pediculated, and, using intraoperative flowmetry, they found a superior flow (42.6 ± 29.1 ml/min) of skeletonized LITA in relation to pediculated LITA (26.4 ± 16.1 ml/min)21. On the other hand, Rukosujew et al15 calculated the perivascular free blood flow in 40 patients who received either skeletonized RA or with adjacent tissues, and found no statistical differences between the groups, similar to the results observed in the current study.

Webb et al25 calculated a mean coronary graft volume blood flow baseline of 35 ml/min in graft radial artery. The coronary flow reserve has also been a variable increasingly used for the assessment of coronary lesions and outcomes of percutaneous interventions. Similarly to average peak velocity, this parameter may display large variations in patients with angiographically normal arteries. Based on the experience with the analysis of coronary flow reserve in LITA, and reported by Webb et al25, the mean coronary flow reserve in radial graft was 2.3 with the use of velocity measurements.

In this study the RA graft flow reserve was 2.12±0.11 in GI, and of 2.01±0.1 in GII. We can conclude that it was satisfactory in this study, thus demonstrating a significant perspective of RA adaptability to different coronary territories.

In conclusion, the results of the present study, with a selected group of patients, allow us to state that the morphologic, functional and hemodynamic performances of RA aorto-coronary grafts to left coronary branches are similar, whether it is prepared in a skeletonized or pedicled manner. However, the higher frequency of obstruction and stenosis occurring in pedicled grafts may pose a limitation to their long-term performance.


Notes

Author contributions

Conception and design of the research and Statistical analysis: Bonini RCA, Moreira, LFP; Acquisition of data and Analysis and interpretation of the data: Bonini RCA, Staico R; Obtaining funding and Writing of the manuscript: Bonini RCA; Critical revision of the manuscript for intellectual content: Bonini RCA, Dinkhuysen JJ, Moreira, LFP; Performed surgery: Issa M, Arnoni AS, Chaccur P, Abdulmassih Neto C, Dinkhuysen JJ, Paulista PP, Souza LCB.

Sources of Funding

This study was funded by Instituto Dante Pazzanese de Cardiologia.

Study Association

This article is part of the thesis of Doctoral submitted by Rômulo C. Arnal Bonini from Faculdade de Medicina da USP.

References
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3. Taggart DP,Mathur MN,Ahmad I. Skeletonization of the radial artery: advantages over the pedicle techniqueAnn Thorac SurgYear: 200172129829911465214
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7. Moran SV,Baeza R,Guarda E,Zalaquett R,Irarrazaval MJ,Marchant E,et al. Predictors of radial artery patency for coronary bypass operationsAnn Thorac SurgYear: 20017251552155611722042
8. Allen EV. Thromboangiitis obliterans: methods of diagnosis of chronic occlusive arterial lesions distal to the wrist illustrative casesAm J Med SciYear: 1929178237244
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11. Starnes SL,Wolk SW,Lampman RM,Shanley CJ,Prager RL,Kong BK,et al. Nonivasive evaluation of hand circulation before radial artery harvest for coronary artery bypass graftingJ Thorac Cardiovasc SurgYear: 199911722612669918966
12. Reyes AT,Frame R,Brodman R. Technique for harvesting the radial artery as a coronary artery bypass graftAnn Thorac SurgYear: 19955911181267646631
13. Doucette JW,Corl D,Payne HM,Flynn AE,Goto M,Nassi M,et al. Validation of a Doppler guide wire for intravascular measurement of coronary artery flow velocityCirculationYear: 1992855189919111572046
14. Rukosujem A,Reichelt R,Fabricius AM,Drees G,Tjan TDT,Rothenburger M,et al. Skeletonization versus pedicle preparation of the radial artery with and without the ultrasonic scalpelAnn Thorac SurgYear: 200477112012514726047
15. Achouh P,Acar C. Twenty-year fate of the radial artery graftAnn Cardiothorac SurgYear: 20132448148423977626
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17. Weinschelbaum EE,Gabe ED,Macchia A,Smimmo R,Suárez LD. Total myocardial revascularization with arterial conduits: radial artery combined with internal thoracic arteriesJ Thorac Cardiovasc SurgYear: 199711469919969434694
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20. Amano A,Takahashi A,Hirose H. Skeletonized radial artery grafting: improved angiographic resultsAnn Thorac SurgYear: 20027361880188712078785
21. Hirose H,Amano A. Skeletonized radial artery grafting: one-year patency rateHeart Surg ForumYear: 200474E277E28215454378
22. Hirose H,Amano A,Takahashi A,Takanashi S. Skeletonization of the radial artery with the ultrasonic scalpel: clinic angiographic resultsHeart Surg ForumYear: 200363E42E4712821437
23. Ali E,Saso S,Ahmed K,Athanasiou T. When harvested for coronary artery bypass graft surgery does a skeletonized or pedicled radial artery improve conduit patency?Interact Cardiovasc Thorac SurgYear: 201010228929219906692
24. Tokuda V,Song MH,Oshima H,Usui A,Ueda Y. Predicting coronary bypass graft failure by intraoperative transit time flow measurementAnn Thorac SurgYear: 20078461928193318036908
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26. Akasaka T,Yoshikawa J,Yoshida K,Maeda K,Hozumi T,Nasu M,et al. Flow capacity of internal mammary artery grafts: early restriction and late improvement assessed by Doppler guide wire: comparison with saphenous vein graftsJ Am Coll CardiolYear: 19952536406477860908
27. Gurné O,Chenu P,Polidori C,Louagie Y,Buche M,Haxhe JP,et al. Functional evaluation of internal mammary artery bypass grafts in the early and late postoperative periodsJ Am Coll CardiolYear: 1995255112011287897125

Figures

[Figure ID: f01]
Figure 1 

Pedicled radial artery with non-obstructive lesion in the proximal third.



[Figure ID: f02]
Figure 2 

Pedicled radial artery proximally occluded.



[Figure ID: f03]
Figure 3 

Mean proximal internal angiographic diameter of the radial artery (p = 0.492). Mean ± 95% CI.



[Figure ID: f04]
Figure 4 

Coronary Flow Reserve of the radial artery (p = 0.624). Mean ± 95%CI.



[Figure ID: f05]
Figure 5 

Blood flow of the radial artery at rest (p = 0.435). Mean ± 95% CI.



Tables
[TableWrap ID: t01] Table 1 

Clinical and surgical variables


Group I ( n = 20) Group II (n = 20) p-Value
Age (y) 52 ± 6.8 54 ± 5 0.221
Sex (M/F) 17/3 16/4 NS
High Blood Pressure (n) 17 (85%) 19 (95%) 0.605
Dislipidemia (n) 8 (40%) 9 (45%) 0.749
Diabetes (n) 6 (30%) 5 (25%) 0.723
Smoking habit (n) 11 (55%) 10 (50%) 0.752
Stable Angina (n) 17 (85%) 17 (85%) NS
Previous AMI (n) 3 (15%) 3 (15%) NS
CPB Time (min) 86 ± 23.76 89.1 ± 21.3 0.862
Anoxia Time (min) 60.5 ± 13.6 64.7 ± 16.9 0.429
Arterial Graft Revasc. (n) 2.2 ± 0.44 2.2 ± 0.4 NS
Total Revasc. Vessels (n) 3.25 ± 0.8 3.15 ± 0.8 NS
RITA (n) 2 4 NS
Saphenous veins(n) 17 15 NS

M: Male; F: Female; AMI: Acute myocardial infarction; CPB: Cardiopulmonary bypass; RITA: Right Internal Thoracic Artery.



Article Categories:
  • Original Articles

Keywords: Coronary Diseases / surgery, Radial Artery / abnormalities, Radial Artery / surgery, Vascular Patency.

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