History of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB)

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2015 Jun;29(2):99-111. doi: 10.1016/j.bpa.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 Apr 23.


The development of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), thereby permitting open-heart surgery, is one of the most important advances in medicine in the 20th century. Many currently practicing cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac surgeons, and perfusionists are unaware of how recently it came into use (60 years) and how much the practice of CPB has changed during its short existence. In this paper, the development of CPB and the many changes and progress that has taken place over this brief period of time, making it a remarkably safe endeavor, are reviewed. The many as yet unresolved questions are also identified, which sets the stage for the other papers in this issue of this journal.

Keywords: cardiac surgery; cardiopulmonary bypass; extracorporeal circulation; heart–lung machines; history.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology / history*
  • Anesthesiology / trends
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / history
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / trends
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / history*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / trends
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / history
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Surgeons / history*
  • Surgeons / trends