Determinants of operative mortality in elderly patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. Emphasis on the influence of internal mammary artery grafting on mortality and morbidity

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1994 Jul;108(1):73-81.


Coronary artery bypass grafting has been performed for elderly patients (> or = 70 years) with increasing frequency. From January 1986 through June 1993, 1399 elderly patients underwent isolated coronary bypass grafting. Of these patients, 823 had saphenous vein grafts alone and 576 had internal mammary artery grafting, including unilateral (n = 546) and bilateral (n = 28). Overall operative mortality was 8.86%. Operative mortality for unilateral internal mammary artery grafting (6.41%) was lower than for saphenous vein grafting only (9.96%, p = 0.021) and bilateral internal mammary artery grafting (21.43%, 6/28, p = 0.018). Fewer patients undergoing internal mammary artery grafting had postoperative complications (low cardiac output, intraaortic balloon pumping, and neurologic complications) than patients having saphenous vein grafting only. To determine risk factors for mortality and the influence of internal mammary artery grafting on the outcome, we analyzed 55 variables (27 preoperative, 15 intraoperative, and 13 postoperative) by univariate analysis. Significant variables (age, gender, height, weight, surface area, diabetes, obesity, body mass index, history of congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, or arrhythmia, functional class, left ventricular ejection fraction, stenosis of the left anterior descending or right coronary artery, emergency operation, reoperation, number of grafts, perfusion time, and bilateral or right internal mammary artery grafting) were included in a stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis. The logistic regression demonstrates that those preoperative (history of congestive heart failure or myocardial infarction, low ejection fraction, female gender, and old age), intraoperative (long cardiopulmonary bypass time, emergency operation, reoperation, and use of right internal mammary artery grafting), and postoperative (postoperative complications) variables are independently associated with higher mortality. This study reveals the high-risk groups in elderly patients undergoing coronary bypass and suggests that a left internal mammary artery graft in combination with saphenous vein grafting may achieve a lower operative mortality and morbidity than other procedures in selected elderly patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Mammary-Coronary Artery Anastomosis / adverse effects
  • Internal Mammary-Coronary Artery Anastomosis / mortality
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors