Objective: Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is a rare but serious complication after cardiac surgery. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the incidence, outcome, and perioperative risk factors of AMI in the patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery.
Methods: From January 2005 to May 2013, all patients who underwent cardiac surgery were screened for participation, and patients with registered gastrointestinal complications were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate analyses were performed.
Results: The study included 6013 patients, of which 52 (0.86%) patients suffered from AMI, 35 (67%) of whom died. The control group (150 patients) was randomly chosen from among cases undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Preoperative parameters including age (P = 0.03), renal insufficiency (P = 0.004), peripheral vascular disease (P = 0.04), preoperative inotropic support (P < 0.001), poor left ventricular ejection fraction (P = 0.002), cardiogenic shock (P = 0.003), and preoperative intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) support (P = 0.05) revealed significantly higher levels in the AMI group. Among intra- and postoperative parameters, CPB time (P < 0.001), dialysis (P = 0.04), inotropic support (P = 0.007), prolonged ventilator time (P < 0.001), and IABP support (P = 0.007) appeared significantly higher in the AMI group than the control group.
Conclusions: Prompt diagnosis and early treatment should be initiated as early as possible in any patient suspected of AMI, leading to dramatic reduction in the mortality rate.