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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2011 August;52(4):587-92

language: English

Fast-track pulmonary conditioning before urgent cardiac surgery in patients with insufficiently treated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Dreger H. 1, Schaumann B. 2, Gromann T. 2, Hetzer R. 2, Melzer C. 1

1 Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Campus Mitte, Charité - University Medicine Berlin, School of Medicine, Berlin, Germany;
2 Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin, Berlin, Germany


AIM: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an important risk factor for perioperative morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Despite high clinical relevance, current guidelines lack clear recommendations on the optimal approach for patients with insufficiently treated COPD and urgent need for cardiac surgery. The aim of the present study was to analyze the efficacy of short-term pulmonary conditioning (PC) in this subset of cardiopulmonary patients.
METHODS:Eighteen patients with urgent need for cardiac surgery were treated with 1 mg budenoside twice a day, 1.25 mg salbutamol four times a day and 15 mg ambroxol three times a day. On average, patients received pulmonary conditioning for 5.1 ± 2.1 days. Lung function was assessed before and after treatment.
RESULTS: Pulmonary conditioning improved forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) by 16% (P<0.001). Predicted FEV1 increased from 48.3±13.6% at baseline to 55.4±16.1% after treatment (P<0.001). Total resistance was reduced from 0.933±0.418 kPa·s/L to 0.631±0.344 kPa·s/L after PC (P=0.004). The percentage of patients in GOLD stages III-IV was reduced from 55.6% at baseline to 27.8% after treatment. After surgery, patients needed mechanical ventilation for 2±3.4 days. One patient (5.6%) received a tracheostomy and four patients (22.2%) developed pneumonia; 30-day mortality was 5.6%.
CONCLUSION: Short-term treatment with budenoside, salbutamol and ambroxol significantly improved lung function parameters. If surgery can be delayed for several days, pulmonary conditioning should be considered for patients with insufficiently treated COPD.

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