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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1992 Dec;40(6):365-70.

Isolated coronary artery bypass grafting in patients 75 years of age and older: is age per se a contraindication?

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital of Antwerp, Belgium.


137 patients with a mean age of 77.3 years (Group A) who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) were compared to 137 patients with a mean age of 55.6 years (Group B) who also underwent isolated CABG on the same or the adjacent day as the Group A patients. Group A patients were more commonly women, and had a significantly higher incidence of unstable angina, emergency operations, extensive coronary disease, peripheral vascular disease, and multiorgan debility. However, their left-ventricular function and the extent of revascularisation was similar to Group B patients. They also had significantly more operative mortality (7.2% vs 1.45%, p < 0.001). cardiac and non-cardiac complications, and longer hospital stay (14.2 vs 8.8 days, p < 0.001) than group B patients. At a mean follow-up of 29.8 months, no significant differences were noted in Group A versus Group B patients in terms of long-term survival (95% vs 94%), freedom from angina (82% vs 81%), cardiac readmission (10% vs 12%), or in the incidence of new myocardial infarction or new CABG. Actuarial survival at 4 years was 76.9% in Group A patients and 90.1% in Group B patients. Severe angina due to extensive coronary disease commonly makes urgent surgery unavoidable in this growing population of very old patients, but the operative mortality is modest and survivors do enjoy several years of life, remaining as free of angina, etc., as similar but younger patients.

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