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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Nov 1;22(5):1411-7.

Coronary artery bypass grafting in severe left ventricular dysfunction: excellent survival with improved ejection fraction and functional state.

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Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.



The present study evaluated our experience with coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction.


Despite the ominous prognosis of advanced ischemic cardiomyopathy, coronary artery bypass grafting in this setting remains controversial because of concerns over operative risk and lack of functional or survival benefit.


We analyzed the data of 83 consecutive patients (69 men, 14 women, aged 42 to 83 years [mean 66.8]) with a left ventricular ejection fraction < or = 30% who underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (without aneurysmectomy, valve replacement or other open heart procedures) performed by one surgeon during a 6-year period. The ejection fraction ranged from 10% to 30% (mean 24.6%). Preoperatively, 49% of patients had angina, 52% had congestive heart failure (17% with pulmonary edema) and 30% manifested significant ventricular arrhythmia. The mean number of grafts was 2.7/patient. The internal mammary artery was used in 82% of grafts to the left anterior descending coronary artery. The intraaortic balloon pump was required therapeutically (for angina or pump failure) in 19% of patients and was prophylactically placed preoperatively in another 43% of patients.


The hospital mortality rate was 8.4% (7 of 83). The mortality rate was 3.3% (2 of 61) in those patients who did not require admission to an intensive care unit immediately before operation. Canadian Cardiovascular Society angina class improved postoperatively by 1.9 categories and New York Heart Association congestive heart failure class by 1 category. Left ventricular ejection fraction (assessed postoperatively in 68 of 76 hospital survivors) improved from 24.6% preoperatively to 33.2% postoperatively (36% increase) (p < 0.001). At 1 and 3 years, respectively, all-cause survival was 87% and 80% and freedom from cardiac death was 89.8% and 84.5%.


In patients with coronary artery disease and advanced ventricular dysfunction: 1) coronary artery bypass grafting can be performed relatively safely, 2) good medium-term survival is attained, 3) improvement in left ventricular function can be documented objectively after bypass grafting, 4) quality of life is improved (as reflected by improvement in anginal and congestive heart failure status), and 5) the internal mammary artery can safely be used as a conduit. The use of coronary artery bypass grafting is encouraged for this group of patients and may provide a viable alternative to transplantation in selected patients.

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