Background: There has been an increase in the number of elderly patients considered for cardiac surgery. Several reports have documented acceptable morbidity and mortality in patients 80 years and older. The results from surgical patients 85 years and older were analyzed.
Methods: The records of 89 consecutive patients 85 years and older having cardiac operations between June 1993 and May 1999 were retrospectively reviewed. For purposes of statistical analysis follow-up was considered as a minimum of one office visit to the surgeon, cardiologist, or internist at least 1 month postoperatively.
Results: Eighty-seven patients underwent coronary artery grafting and two patients had mitral valve replacement. Follow-up was 100% complete. The operative mortality rate was 12.3%; probability of in-hospital death was 8.2%; risk-adjusted mortality rate was 3.2%. The complication rate was 31.5%. The actuarial 1-, 3-, and 5-year survivals were as follows: 75%, 67%, and 40%. Multivariate predictors of 30-day mortality were preoperative EF, less than 30% (p = 0.029) and postoperative renal failure (p = 0.0039).
Conclusions: Cardiac surgery can be performed in patients 85 years and older with good results. There is an associated prolonged hospital stay for elderly patients. Consistent successful outcomes can be expected in this patient population with selective criteria identifying risk factors.