The inferior epigastric artery was used as a free graft for direct myocardial revascularization in 22 patients from October 1987 to July 1988. The artery was used either alone or along with internal mammary artery or saphenous vein grafts. The inferior epigastric artery was dissected through an infraumbilical incision without entrance into the peritoneal cavity. The results depend on the technique used for the aortoepigastric anastomosis. When a segment of saphenous vein or a patch of bovine pericardium was sutured to a large aortic orifice with the inferior epigastric artery previously anastomosed to these patches, the patency rate of the free grafts in the early postoperative period was 100%. Histologic examination showed identical structure of the inferior epigastric artery and the internal mammary artery. Application of the inferior epigastric artery is an attempt to increase the use of arterial grafts for myocardial revascularization.