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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Aug;40(2):367-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.11.069. Epub 2011 Jan 26.

Live broadcasting in cardiac surgery does not increase the operative risk.

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, Heart Centre Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



Live broadcasting of cardiac surgical procedures has an educational intention. There is an ongoing debate whether live surgery increases risk. Aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of patients who underwent a cardiac surgical procedure during live broadcasting.


A total of 250 cardiac operations were performed during 32 live broadcastings at four different clinical sites between 1999 and 2009. Data on patient characteristics, intra-operative procedures and patient short- and long-term outcome were collected and analyzed. All participating centers complied with the rules for the conduct of live surgery developed by the European Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) Techno College Committee.


Primary educational focus was the mitral valve in 126 cases, aortic valve including transcatheter valve implantations in 34, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in 29, congenital in 26, aortic (ascending, arch, and descending) in 15, atrial fibrillation in 13, and heart failure in seven. Mean EuroSCORE (European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation) was 8.7 ± 11.5 (range: 0.8-72). Thirty-day mortality was 1.2% (3/250): reasons for death were multi-organ failure in two and respiratory failure in one patient, respectively. Stroke rate was 2.4% (6/250). Five patients (2%) required cardiac re-operations within 30 days. The rate of mitral valve repair was 96% (121) and compares favourably with repair rates presented in national registries. Mean follow-up of all patients was 3.7 ± 2.8 years with an estimated survival of 92% (95% confidence interval (CI): 87-95%) at 5 years.


Based on this large experience there is no evidence for an excess perioperative risk for patients operated under the conditions of live broadcasting.

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