The right gastroepiploic artery has been increasingly used as a coronary bypass graft. Short and mid-term patency rates support the supposition that the right gastroepiploic artery is a satisfactory bypass conduit. However, conclusive angiographic data on long-term patency rates are still lacking. An echo-colour Doppler method was used to detect patency of the right gastroepiploic artery grafts through an upper abdominal approach. A group of 24 patients with a right gastroepiploic artery graft to the right or posterior descending coronary artery, all of whom also had a postoperative angiographic study which showed 100% patency of the graft were used as a reference group. A second group of 89 patients was also investigated only with echo-colour Doppler during the postoperative period (mean 8.0 (range 1- 48) months). A patent right gastroepiploic artery graft showed a biphasic velocity pattern. Systolic peak velocity ranged from 8 to 26 cm and diastolic peak velocity from 4 to 13 cm. The right gastroepiploic artery diameter ranged from 1.7 to 2.4 mm and flow from 10.2 to 58.8 ml. Among the second group were three patients who had, at their echo-colour Doppler examination, a possible occlusion of the right gastroepiploic artery graft: an angiographic study was conducted and the graft closure confirmed in all cases. Serial echo-colour Doppler evaluation of the right gastroepiploic artery blood flow pattern and diameter is a non-invasive and safe method to check the patency and flow capacity of the artery graft in follow-up studies.
- Coronary surgery
- Echo-colour Doppler- imaging
- Right gastroepiploic artery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging