[The gastroepiploic artery graft in coronary artery bypass surgery].Rinsho Kyobu Geka. 1990 Feb; 10(1):17-21.RK
From March 1986 to October 1989, 91 patients underwent CABG using the right gastroepiploic artery (GEA) at Osaka Medical College and Mitsui Memorial Hospital. Including 14 females, the mean age was 57.9 years old ranged from 34 to 73 years old. Triple vessel disease and left main disease occupied over 90% of the patients. There were 5 emergency operations and 6 reoperations. Associated serious diseases were; renal failure with hemodialysis in 2 pts., familial hyperlipidemia in 5 pts., severe atherosclerotic ascending aorta in 8 pts., arteriosclerosis obliterance in 3 pts., and each one of abdominal aortic aneurysm and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The internal thoracic artery (ITA) graft was concomitantly utilized in 96% of the patients. Single ITA in 60 pts., double ITA in 23 pts. and sequential ITA in 5 patients. Saphenous vein graft was used in 58 patients and remaining 33 patients were operated without leg wound. The mean number of distal anastomoses was 3.3 ranged from 1 to 5, and the mean number of arterial grafts was 2.5 ranged from 1 to 4. The mean aortic cross clamp time and cardiopulmonary bypass time was 62.8 minutes and 113.6 minutes, respectively. Sites of GEA anastomosis were; 4 anterior descending, 3 diagonal, 11 circumflex and 73 right coronary arteries. There were 86 in situ grafts mostly for the right coronary arteries, and remaining 5 GEAs were used as a free graft to bypass the left coronary arteries. On the contrary, ITA was used to bypass the left coronary artery system preferentially. There was 3 combined procedures; splenectomy, abdominal aorta replacement, and ascending aorta to bifemoral artery bypass in each one patients. Three patients including one emergency case died within 30 days after surgery. Two were cardiac and one was renal failure. Other 2 patients died of stroke at late period. New Q wave infarction was noted in 2 patients. Relief of angina was obtained in 98% of survivors. The patency rate of the GEA graft was 97% in 61 grafts restudied within 6 postoperative months, which was identical with that of the ITA graft, that is 97% of 76 grafts. In conclusion, the GEA has several advantages as a coronary artery bypass graft such as similarity in size to the coronary artery, rare arteriosclerosis, feasibility of in situ graft, and no gastric complication. Its flow capacity is studying now and favourable results are being obtained. The final problem, its long term patency, will be resolved in future. GEA is a promising conduit for the coronary bypass surgery.