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Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES CARDIAC PAPERS
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1999 Febbraio;40(1):83-91
Coronary artery bypass procedures in septuagenarians are justified. Short and long-term results
Busch Th., Friedrich M., Sirbu H., Stamm Ch., Zenker D., Dauchau H.
From the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany
Background. Elective coronary artery bypass surgery can be performed with low operative mortality. There is a controversial discussion whether short-term and long-term results of CABG justify this procedure in elderly patients.
Methods. To add to this discussion, we evaluated retrospectively, the clinical profile, operative technique, short- and long-term results of 1127 patients over 70 years of age who underwent myocardial revascularization between January 1985 and December 1996.
Results. Mean age of the cohort was 73.9 years and it rose continuously. In 1996, septuagenarians represented 21.5% of our coronary patients, in comparison to 6.4% in 1985. Analysis of risk factors showed an increasing prevalence of renal failure, obesity, hyperuricemia and a history of smoking. Preoperatively, 87% of our patients were in NYHA-class III or IV, and thus operated to relieve severe symptoms. The percentage of emergent operations decreased over the observed period by 10.3%. The internal mammary artery was used with rising frequency (44.8% in 1985-1992 vs 61.5% in 1993-1996). The number of simultaneous valve replacements increased, too. Postoperatively, we noted a rising incidence of respiratory failure (17.1%) and neurological disorders (13.7%). On the other hand, the need for intra-aortic balloon pumping and hemofiltration declined by 6.6% and 2.9%, respectively. Perioperative mortality (≤24 hrs) was 3.65%, hospital mortality (≤30 days) was 9.64%. The actuarial survival (standard error) at 1 year was 82% (±4.3%), and 65.7% (±3.8%) at 5 years.
Conclusions. Our data suggest that coronary artery bypass grafting can be performed in septuagenarians at an acceptable risk. Since the large majority of patients improve symptomatically, surgery is a recommendable option for a growing number of elderly patients suffering from severe angina.