Skeletonized Gastroepiploic Artery for Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
Background: Skeletonized arterial grafting may reduce the risk of graft spasm and may improve graft patency. Previously we reported a pilot study of skeletonized gastroepiploic artery (GEA) grafting with favorable results. Skeletonized GEA harvesting with an ultrasonic scalpel has now become our routine procedure. In this report, we compare the early clinical outcomes of skeletonized versus pedicled GEA grafting to assess the safety and benefit of use of skeletonized GEA in coronary artery bypass grafting.
Methods: Between July 2002 and October 2003, the GEA was used as a conduit for isolated off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting in 105 patients. Of these, 21 patients (group P) received pedicled GEA and 59 patients (group S) received skeletonized GEA grafts (excluding 25 patients whose results were reported in the pilot study). The perioperative and early follow-up data were prospectively collected and compared.
Results: No graft injury was found in either group. The preoperative characteristics were similar in the two groups except that group S had a smaller body surface area (1.64 ± 0.16 m2 in group S versus 1.73 ± 0.16 m2 in group P, P < .05) and a significant number of patients with diabetes (36/59, 61.0% versus 7/21, 33.3%, P < .05). The number of distal anastomoses was 4.3 ± 1.0 versus 3.9 ± 0.9 (P = not significant [NS]). An in situ GEA composite graft was constructed in 8 (13.6%) of the patients in group S and none of the patients in group P (P = NS). There was one hospital death due to infection in group S. Otherwise, there were no cases of low output syndrome or postoperative myocardial infarction in either group. During early postoperative follow-up, no angina recurrence or myocardial infarction was found.
Conclusion: The GEA can be skeletonized safely with an ultrasonic scalpel. Skeletonization enables a wider variety of choices in the use of GEA grafting.
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