Background: Concern about the possible adverse effects of the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) pump and advances in retractors and operative techniques to access all coronary segments have resulted in increased interest in off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) procedures. Four of the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group centers initiated OPCAB programs in 1998. We compared the preoperative risk profiles and in-hospital outcomes of patients done off-pump with those done by conventional coronary artery bypass (CCAB) with CPB.
Methods: Between 1998 and 2000, 1,741 OPCAB and 6,126 CCAB procedures were performed at these four medical centers. Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass grafting procedures were excluded. Data were available for patient and disease risk factors, extent of coronary disease and adverse in-hospital outcomes.
Results: The OPCAB and CCAB groups were somewhat different in their preoperative patient and disease characteristics. The OPCAB patients were more likely to be female and to have peripheral vascular disease. The CCAB patients were more likely to have an ejection fraction less than 0.40 and be urgent or emergent at operation. However, overall predicted risk of in-hospital mortality, based on preoperative factors, was similar in the OPCAB and CCAB groups; the mean predicted risk was 2.6% (p = 0.567). Crude rates of mortality (2.54% OPCAB versus 2.57%, CCAB), intraoperative or postoperative stroke (1.33% versus 1.82%), mediastinitis (1.10% versus 1.37%), and return to the operating room for bleeding (3.46% versus 2.93%) did not differ significantly. The OPCAB patients did have a statistically significant reduction in the need for intraoperative or postoperative intraaortic balloon pump support (2.31% versus 3.41%; p = 0.023) and in the incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation (21.21% versus 26.31%; p < 0.001). Adjustment for preoperative risk factors and extent of coronary disease did not substantially change the crude results. Median postoperative length of stay was significantly shorter (5 days versus 6 days, p < 0.001) for OPCAB patients than for CCAB patients.
Conclusions: This multicenter study showed that patients having OPCAB are not exposed to a greater risk of short-term adverse outcomes. These data also provided evidence that patients having OPCAB have significantly lower need for intraoperative or postoperative intraaortic balloon pump, lower rates of postoperative atrial fibrillation, and a shorter length of stay.