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Chest. 2000 May;117(5):1262-70.

Coronary artery bypass grafting in the elderly.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Shin-Tokyo Hospital, Chiba, Japan.



The incidence of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in elderly patients has been increasing. We retrospectively analyzed the results of CABG performed at Shin-Tokyo Hospital between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 1998. Preoperative, perioperative, and follow-up data of patients > or = 75 years old (group E, n = 190) were collected, and compared with those of patients < 75 years old (group Y, n = 1,380).


Female gender, emergent CABG, preoperative balloon pumping use, cardiogenic shock, hypertension, and preoperative cerebral vascular accident were significantly more frequent in group E (p < 0.05). CABG was completed without any significant differences, except for less frequent use of the bilateral internal mammary artery (p < 0.01), more frequent use of the saphenous vein (p < 0.005), and a greater incidence of blood transfusion in group E (p < 0.0001). The postoperative course required longer intubation, ICU stay, and postoperative hospital stay in group E (p < 0.001), and was more frequently associated with major complication (p < 0.0001) and in-hospital death (p < 0.05). During the mean follow-up of 2.7 years (maximum 6.9 years), the actuarial 5-year survival of groups E and Y were 84.3% and 92.5% (p < 0.01), respectively, excluding in-hospital mortality. The actuarial 5-year cardiac event-free rates were 79.9% in group E and 79.7% in group Y, showing no significant difference.


CABG in the elderly carries certain surgical risks. However, the long-term cardiac event-free rate after CABG in the elderly was almost the same as that of younger patients. Inferior long-term survival in the elderly was most likely due to the biological nature of aging.

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