Background: The long-term benefits of “free” gastroepiploic artery (GEA) grafts remain unclear. The aim of this study is to investigate the long-term patency and clinical results of en bloc free GEA grafts. Methods: Of the 1478 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery at our institution between January 1997 and December 2009, 137 patients underwent en bloc free GEA grafting. Graft patency, late survival, and freedom from major adverse cardiovascular events were examined. Propensity score matching was used to compare the patency of free GEA grafts with the saphenous vein grafts, and 134 matched pairs were generated. Results: The early patency rate of free GEA grafts was 98.6%. The long-term patency rates of the free GEA grafts was 96.5% at 5 years, 95% at 10 years, and 86.6% at 15 years. In the 134 matched pairs, the long-term patency rates of free GEA grafts anastomosed to the right coronary artery were significantly higher than those of saphenous vein grafts to the right coronary artery (97% vs 91.8% at 5 years; 95.3% vs 79.6% at 10 years; 85.9% vs 61.7% at 15 years; P < .001). Survival was 94% at 5 years, 86.6% at 10 years, and 66.8% at 15 years; and freedom from major adverse cardiovascular events was 93.2% at 5 years, 91.3% at 10 years, and 73.1% at 15 years. Conclusions: En bloc free GEA grafts had favorable long-term performance and can be considered as an effective option for patients who need to receive as many arterial grafts as possible.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine