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Endoscopic localization and assessment of coronary arteries by 13 MHz epicardial ultrasound

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2003.10.051
  • Original Article: Cardiovascular


Abstract Background In totally endoscopic coronary artery bypass grafting the target coronary artery is difficult to locate and assess. We explored the capacity of a high-frequency epicardial ultrasound mini-transducer (Aloka, Tokyo, Japan) to endoscopically locate and assess the left anterior descending (LAD), third obtuse marginal (OM3), and right posterior descending (RDP) coronary arteries. Methods In eight pigs, the LAD, OM3, and RDP were endoscopically exposed. The mini-transducer was manipulated by the “da Vinci” telemanipulation system (Intuitive Surgical, Inc, Mountain View, CA) over the unstabilized and stabilized epicardium to identify the target artery, obtain a scout scan, and both transverse and longitudinal images. Results In both unstabilized and stabilized conditions, the LAD and RDP were identified within a median of 29 seconds. In stabilized conditions, assessment was complete in 112 seconds (92 to 205) (median with range) for the LAD and 140 seconds (54 to 197) for the RDP. Stabilization of the OM3 was required for identification (16 [5 to 60]) and assessment (111 [82 to 225]). Overall identification was correct in 23 of 24 arteries. The OM branches and RDP became fully exposed endoscopically with stroke volume (SV) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) remaining at 67% ± 11% (mean ± standard error of the mean) and 70% ± 5% of baseline values, respectively. Scanning itself did not augment the decrease in SV and MAP significantly. Conclusions After proper endoscopic exposure and stabilization, robot-assisted epicardial ultrasound scanning enabled endoscopic identification and assessment of major coronary arteries within a median of 169 seconds per artery. Exposure, stabilization, and scanning were accompanied by an acceptable drop in stroke volume and mean arterial pressure.

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