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Circulation. 1995 Jan 15;91(2):379-85.

One-stage surgery of coronary arteries and abdominal aorta in patients with impaired left ventricular function.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany.



Coronary artery disease (CAD) is common in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Some patients will present with the combination of unstable angina, impaired left ventricular function, and a large symptomatic (ie, leaking, expanding) AAA. In this subgroup of high-risk patients, aortic cross-clamping may have a deleterious effect on cardiac function, whereas coronary artery bypass graft surgery before aneurysmectomy (staged operation) carries the risk of perioperative aneurysm rupture. One-stage surgery, ie, myocardial revascularization and simultaneous aortic aneurysm repair, has been proposed in this situation. This article summarizes our results with the combined one-stage approach in patients with symptomatic CAD, impaired left ventricular function, and large symptomatic aortic aneurysms or severe aortic occlusive disease. As yet, this cohort is the largest reported in the English literature.


In 25 patients (24 men) with a mean age of 69.4 years (range, 55 to 80 years), we performed combined open heart and intra-abdominal aortic surgery. Eighteen patients had severe three-vessel disease and impaired left ventricular function (ejection fraction, < 35%). In addition, 3 of these patients had severe aortic valvular stenosis and/or insufficiency. Seven patients had one- or two-vessel disease with a low left ventricular ejection fraction in the range of 15% to 30%. All patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III or IV. Twenty-one of 25 patients had symptomatic infrarenal AAA (perianeurysm hematoma was present in 9 patients, and 12 patients had signs of beginning perforation). Four patients with aortoiliac occlusive disease and limb ischemia were simultaneously operated on. The surgical procedure started with the performance of coronary artery bypass graft surgery. After completion of myocardial revascularization, aortic aneurysm repair was performed while extracorporeal circulation was continued for mechanical cardiac assist until aortic surgery was fully accomplished. An average of 3.3 (3 to 5) coronary bypass grafts were placed, including 17 internal thoracic artery grafts. In addition, three aortic valves were replaced. In the abdominal aortic position, 12 straight tube grafts and 13 bifurcation grafts were implanted, and three renal and two carotid arteries were simultaneously repaired. The total time of surgery varied from 2.3 to 8.5 hours, with a mean time of 3.9 +/- 1.4 hours. One intraoperative myocardial infarction occurred despite open grafts. Intensive care unit treatment lasted 1 to 13 days, with a mean of 3.6 +/- 2.5 days. Three patients (12%) died after surgery--1 because of acute renal failure induced by an adverse reaction to heparin, 1 because of myocardial infarction, and 1 because of multiorgan failure. One-year actuarial survival rate was 88%, which compares favorably with survival after isolated AAA surgery in this high-risk patient subgroup and equals survival in patients with severe CAD and severely depressed myocardial function.


One-stage surgery is a possible approach to highly symptomatic patients with severe multivascular disease and has acceptable early morbidity and mortality. Patients with severely impaired left ventricular function and unstable CAD carry a high risk of left heart failure and/or myocardial infarction during abdominal aortic surgery. Extracorporeal circulation protects the heart from the hemodynamic changes after aortic clamping or declamping during abdominal aortic surgery. The present study demonstrates that one-stage procedure is a reasonable option for this patient subgroup.

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