Objective: To compare hospital outcomes of on-pump and off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery.
Methods: From 1997 to 2000, primary coronary artery bypass grafting was performed in 481 patients off pump and in 3231 patients on pump. Hospital outcomes were compared between propensity-matched pairs of 406 on-pump and 406 off-pump patients. The 2 groups were similar in age (P =.9), left ventricular function (P =.7), extent of coronary artery disease (P =.5), carotid artery disease (P =.4), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (P =.5). However, off-pump patients had more previous strokes (P =.05) and peripheral vascular disease (P =.02); on-pump patients had a higher preoperative New York Heart Association class (P =.01).
Results: In the matched pairs the mean number of bypass grafts was 2.8 +/- 1.0 in off-pump patients and 3.5 +/- 1.1 in on-pump patients (P <.001). Fewer grafts were performed to the circumflex (P <.001) and right coronary (P =.006) artery systems in the off-pump patients. Postoperative mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, and reoperation for bleeding were similar in the 2 groups. There was more encephalopathy (P =.02), sternal wound infection (P =.04), red blood cell use (P =.002), and renal failure requiring dialysis (P =.03) in the on-pump patients.
Conclusions: Both off- and on-pump procedures produced excellent early clinical results with low mortality. An advantage of an off-pump operation was less postoperative morbidity; however, less complete revascularization introduced uncertainty about late results. A disadvantage of on-pump bypass was higher morbidity that seemed attributable to cardiopulmonary bypass.