Gastroepiploic-coronary anastomosis. A viable alternative bypass graft.J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1987 Aug; 94(2):256-9.JT
Although increasing use is being made of arterial grafts (the internal mammary arteries) for direct myocardial revascularization, it is frequently not possible to reach the posterior surface of the heart with the internal mammary as either a pedicle or a free graft. Since June 1984 we have used the right gastroepiploic artery in nine patients as a pedicle graft to the distal right coronary artery (four patients), the posterior descending artery (three patients), and the distal circumflex branches (two patients). Eight patients survived the operation. Celiac axis opacification confirmed patency in six and coronary angiography strongly suggested patency in the remaining two. All survivors are functionally in New York Heart Association Class I or II. The early angiographic and clinical results demonstrate the feasibility of using the right gastroepiploic artery as a bypass graft to coronary vessels on the posterior surface of the heart when traditional conduits are unsuitable. If its long-term patency as a living arterial graft is similar to that of the internal mammary arteries, the gastroepiploic artery may become the coronary bypass graft of choice for the distal right coronary and circumflex systems.