Coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with an ejection fraction of twenty percent or less

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1996 May;111(5):1001-12. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5223(96)70377-x.


Over a 7-year period, 5.8% (n = 210) of patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting at our institution had severely impaired global left ventricular function with an ejection fraction of 20% or less. Mean age at operation was 66 years (+/- 0.7; standard error), and 76% of patients were male. Primary indications for operation were unstable angina (73 patients, 35%), return of symptoms with previous bypass grafting (41 patients, 20%), congestive heart failure with reversible ischemia (55 patients, 26%), and recurrent ventricular arrhythmias (41 patients, 20%). Overall, actuarial survival (n = 210) was 82%, 79%, and 73% at 1, 2, and 5 years. Risk of death was highest early after the operation, and then declined rapidly to a constant level. Patients who did not receive retrograde coronary sinus cardioplegia (p = 0.05), older patients (p = 0.004), and those with preoperative ventricular arrhythmias (p = 0.003) or renal failure (p < 0.0001) had an increased risk of death early after operation. Patients with congestive symptoms and those requiring extensive or redo bypass grafting (p = 0.02) were found to be at an increased risk of death throughout the follow-up period. When the number of distal anastomoses performed increased, survival was found to decrease (p < 0.003), and to a greater extent in women than in men (p = 0.02). Of the four primary indications for operation, unstable angina yielded the highest risk-adjusted survival. Successful results after surgical revascularization in patients with severe impairment of ventricular function can be achieved by careful patient selection and management.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Angina, Unstable / surgery
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / surgery
  • Coronary Artery Bypass* / mortality
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stroke Volume*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome