Background: Despite proven benefit in ambulatory patients with ischemic heart disease, the pattern of use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) in coronary artery bypass graft surgery has been erratic and controversial.
Methods and results: This is a prospective observational study of 4224 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery. The cohort included 1838 patients receiving ACEI therapy before surgery and 2386 (56.5%) without ACEI exposure. Postoperatively, the pattern of ACEI use yielded 4 groups: continuation, 915 (21.7%); withdrawal, 923 (21.8%); addition, 343 (8.1%); and no ACEI, 2043 (48.4%). Continuous treatment with ACEI versus no ACEI was associated with substantive reductions of risk of nonfatal events (adjusted odds ratio for the composite outcome, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.52-0.91; P=0.009) and a cardiovascular event (odds ratio, 0.64; 95% confidence interval, 0.46-0.88; P=0.006). Addition of ACEI de novo postoperatively compared with no ACEI therapy was also associated with a significant reduction of risk of composite outcome (odds ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-0.84; P=0.004) and a cardiovascular event (odds ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.40-0.97; P=0.04). On the other hand, continuous treatment of ACEI versus withdrawal of ACEI was associated with decreased risk of the composite outcome (odds ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.38-0.66; P<0.001), as well as a decrease in cardiac and renal events (P<0.001 and P=0.005, respectively). No differences in in-hospital mortality and cerebral events were noted.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that withdrawal of ACEI treatment after coronary artery bypass graft surgery is associated with nonfatal in-hospital ischemic events. Furthermore, continuation of ACEI or de novo ACEI therapy early after cardiac surgery is associated with improved in-hospital outcomes.