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Ann Surg. 1990 Sep;212(3):378-85; discussion 385-6.

Reoperation for coronary atherosclerosis. Changing practice in 2509 consecutive patients.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195.


We analyzed trends in clinical, angiographic, and operative variables and documented long-term survival in 2509 consecutive patients who underwent reoperation for myocardial revascularization at The Cleveland Clinic during a 20-year period (1967 to 1987). The patients were grouped into four cohorts by year of surgery. This analysis showed that vein graft atherosclerosis has become the leading indication for reoperation, and patient age and interval between operations continue to increase. Mortality rates ranged from 2% to 5% and, despite increasing comorbidity, more extensive coronary atherosclerosis, and worse left ventricular function, the hospital mortality rate was 2.9% from 1985 to 1987. Perioperative new Q-wave myocardial infarction occurred in 7% to 8% of patients from 1967 to 1984 but decreased to 4% in the 1985 to 1987 period (p = 0.04). Internal thoracic artery graft usage in reoperations increased from 27% in the 1967 to 1978 period to 67% in the 1985 to 1987 period. Advanced age and presence of left main coronary artery disease adversely influenced late survival more consistently than other factors. Patients operated on in 1967 to 1978 had fewer risk factors, which explains their higher survival rate compared with more recent cohorts. Factors associated with improved 10-year actuarial survival included age younger than 65 years, mild angina, no major comorbidity, no left main coronary artery disease, good left ventricular performance, and an internal thoracic artery graft.

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