Acute myocardial dysfunction and recovery: a common occurrence after coronary bypass surgery

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 May;15(6):1261-9. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(10)80011-7.


To evaluate whether acute myocardial dysfunction was common in the early postoperative period, serial hemodynamic measurements and radionuclide evaluation of ventricular function were performed before and after operation in 24 patients undergoing elective coronary bypass surgery. All patients had uncomplicated surgery, and no patient sustained an intraoperative infarction. In 96% of patients, significant depression in right and left ventricular ejection fraction was seen postoperatively, reaching a nadir at 262 +/- 116 min after coronary bypass. Left ventricular ejection fraction was 58 +/- 12% preoperatively and 37 +/- 10% at trough. Right ventricular function displayed a similar pattern. These findings were also associated with depressed cardiac and left ventricular stroke work index despite maintenance of adequate ventricular filling pressures and mean arterial pressure. The depression in ventricular function was partially reversible within 8 to 10 h after surgery. Left ventricular ejection fraction had increased to 55 +/- 13% at 426 +/- 77 min after coronary bypass and showed complete recovery within 48 h. Left ventricular end-systolic and end-diastolic volume index increased significantly postoperatively, but recovery in left ventricular ejection fraction was mostly due to decreases in end-systolic volume index (50 +/- 22 ml at trough and 32 +/- 16 ml at recovery). Depressed myocardial function was independent of bypass time, number of grafts placed, preoperative medications or core temperatures postoperatively. Postoperative therapy with pressors or inotropic agents delayed but did not prevent the occurrence of postoperative ventricular dysfunction. Despite improvements in operative techniques and methods of myocardial protection, postoperative left ventricular dysfunction continues to be common in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiotonic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitroglycerin / therapeutic use
  • Nitroprusside / therapeutic use
  • Radionuclide Angiography
  • Stroke Volume


  • Cardiotonic Agents
  • Nitroprusside
  • Nitroglycerin