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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2001 Apr;121(4):689-96.

Reduced postoperative blood loss and transfusion requirement after beating-heart coronary operations: a prospective randomized study.

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  • 1Bristol Heart Institute, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, United Kingdom.



Coronary artery bypass grafting on the beating heart through median sternotomy is a relatively new treatment, which allows multiple revascularization without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. A prospective randomized study was designed to investigate the effect of coronary bypass with or without cardiopulmonary bypass on postoperative blood loss and transfusion requirement.


Two hundred patients with coronary artery disease were prospectively randomized to (1) on-pump treatment with conventional cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegic arrest and (2) off-pump treatment on the beating heart. Postoperative blood loss identified as total chest tube drainage, transfusion requirement, and related costs together with hematologic indices and clotting profiles were analyzed.


There was no difference between the groups with respect to preoperative and intraoperative patient variables. The mean ratio of postoperative blood loss and 95% confidence interval between groups was 1.64 and 1.39 to 1.94, respectively, suggesting on average a postoperative blood loss 1.6 times higher in the on-pump group compared with the off-pump group. Seventy-seven patients in the off-pump group required no blood transfusion compared with only 48 in the on-pump group (P <.01). Furthermore, less than 5% of patients in the on-pump group required fresh frozen plasma and platelet transfusion compared with 30% and 25%, respectively, in the on-pump group (both P <.05). Mean transfusion cost per patient was higher in the on-pump compared with that in the off-pump group ($184.8 +/- $35.2 vs $21.47 +/- $6.9, P <.01).


Coronary artery bypass grafting on the beating heart is associated with a significant reduction in postoperative blood loss, transfusion requirement, and transfusion-related cost when compared with conventional revascularization with cardiopulmonary bypass and cardioplegic arrest.

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