Gastroepiploic artery free graft for coronary bypass

L. Beretta, M. Lemma, P. Vanelli, M. Botta, C. Antonacci, M. Bevilacqua, A. Monopoli, C. Santoli

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The internal mammary artery (IMA) is the graft of choice for CABG but has a limited number and length. For multivessel coronary disease, saphenous vein grafts have to be added but they show poorer long-term patency. Investigation to provide adjunctive reliable grafts has recently focussed on the right gastroepiploic artery (GEA) and encouraging results have been reported employing this vessel as a pedicled graft to bypass distal coronary vessels. From December 1988 to February 1989, to achieve complete myocardial revascularization with only arterial grafts we used a GEA free graft in combination with the two IMAs in 20 consecutive patients under 70 years of age undergoing elective surgery. Before starting, histological studies were carried out and a significant similarity between IMA and GEA was found. In the 20 patients, 76 coronary anastomoses were performed (3.8 bypasses/patients), the GEA graft revascularized the right coronary artery in 9 patients, the circumflex in 8 patients and the anterior descending and/or diagonal in 3 patients; in 7 patients the GEA graft was used for sequential anastomoses. No perioperative deaths, no myocardial infarctions and no gastroenterological complications occurred. Coronary angiographic postoperative control showed 20 20 patent GEA grafts. After follow-up ranging from 7 to 9 months, all patients are free from angina. The GEA free graft is not difficult to harvest, is easier than the pedicled GEA graft to handle in the percicardium and is suitable for sequential anastomosoes. The use of GEA graft however increases the complexity of bypass operations. The histological similarity between IMA and GEA and the good long-term patency of pedicled GEA intramyocardial implants (Vineberg operation) reported in the literature suggest that favourable long-term results can be expected from free GEA-to-coronary grafts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Coronary bypass
  • Gastroepiploic artery
  • Internal mammary artery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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