Comparative histological studies have been performed on the various arterial conduits available for myocardial revascularization including the inferior epigastric artery which has recently become the focus of intense investigation. In this study, 10 patients with known risk factors for atherosclerotic disease had their inferior epigastric artery harvested and the entire specimen examined for the microscopical presence of atherosclerosis or its precursors. Histopathological findings that have been shown to be theoretically protective against the progression of atherosclerosis were observed. These include the paucity of fenestrae in the internal elastic lamina, no medical calcification, the absence of foam cells and the absence of intimal smooth muscle cells. No specimen had atherosclerotic disease and only 3 specimens showed changes consistent with minimal intimal hyperplasia. Morphometric analysis of the 3 diseased specimens revealed only minimal luminal narrowing. These findings suggest that the inferior epigastric artery may not be prone to atherosclerosis. Thus, the inferior epigastric artery appears to be a safe myocardial conduit and long-term patency can be anticipated. Eur J Cardio-thorac Surg (1992) 6:438-441].
- Inferior epigastric artery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine