Purpose of review: The increasing incidence of diffuse coronary artery disease in the current era challenges cardiac surgeons in accomplishing their goal of complete revascularisation. Although coronary endarterectomy is used with encouraging results in most institutions, there remains some controversy in its indications, technique, and results. The purpose of this review is to highlight the important evolutions of technique in the recent past.
Recent findings: Despite the increased risk factors and comorbidities in patients presenting with diffuse coronary artery disease requiring coronary endarterectomy, the results of coronary endarterectomy are improving inline with the improvements in the results of conventional coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. The improving results of coronary endarterectomy in the left anterior descending artery are further clarified. The intra- and postoperative use of prostacyclin has been shown to be effective in reducing mortality and perioperative myocardial infarction. The technique of open coronary endarterectomy with on-lay patch bypass grafting has been shown to be safe and effective in reducing mortality and improving patency as compared with the closed (traction) method of coronary endarterectomy. The use of coronary endarterectomy was also found to be effective in the treatment of in-stent restenosis in the setting of diffuse coronary artery disease. The results of off-pump coronary endarterectomy are encouraging and comparable with the conventional coronary endarterectomy using cardiopulmonary bypass.
Summary: With the increasing incidence of diffuse coronary artery disease and improving results of coronary endarterectomy, it is vital for cardiac surgeons to have coronary endarterectomy in their armamentarium to achieve complete coronary revascularisation.