Background: Stroke occurs after coronary artery bypass grafting with an incidence ranging between 0.8% and 5.2%. To identify factors associated with stroke, we prospectively examined a study cohort and tested findings in an independent validation sample.
Methods: The study cohort comprised 456 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting only, and the validation sample comprised 1,298 patients. Stroke was detected postoperatively by the study team and confirmed by neurologic consultation and computed tomographic scanning.
Results: Five factors taken together were correlated with stroke: previous stroke, presence of carotid bruit, history of hypertension, increasing age, and history of diabetes mellitus. The only significant intraoperative factor was cardiopulmonary bypass time. Probabilities were calculated, and patients were placed into low, medium, and high stroke-risk groups. In the validation sample, this model was able to rank the majority of patients with stroke into the high-risk group.
Conclusions: These five factors taken together can identify the risk of stroke in patients having coronary artery bypass grafting. Recognition of the high-risk group will aid studies on the mechanism and prevention of stroke by modification of surgical procedures or pharmacologic intervention.