Send to

Choose Destination
Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1997 Jun;45(3):119-26.

Heart surgery in patients aged eighty years and above: determinants of morbidity and mortality.

Author information

Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Westfälische Wilhelms University, Münster, Germany.


Escalating medical costs, limitation of resources and the necessity to provide cost-effective medical care have created a need for systematic risk stratification and cost-benefit analyses in the background of an ongoing discussion. Results of heart surgery in octogenarians have been evaluated in a prospective single-center, study since 1990. 101 consecutive patients (55/ 101 = 54.5% female) aged 80 years and above (median: 81 years; interquartile range [IQR]: 80.0-82.5, total range [TR]: 80-92 years) undergoing open heart surgery at our institution between January 1990 and March 1996 were included into this prospective study. Prior to surgery, most patients were severely symptomatic being in functional NYHA classes either III (56.4%) or IV (31.7%). 61/101 (60.4%) patients underwent isolated coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), 23 (22.8%) had aortic valve replacement (AVR), 14 patients (13.9%) had CABG combined with AVR or double valve replacement and 3 (3.0%) had mitral valve repair. Follow-up (median: 23.0 months. IQR: 10.5-39.0, TR: 1-72) was focused on long-term morbidity and quality of life. The impact of preoperative and operative risk factors on morbidity and mortality was determined by uni- and multivariate statistical analysis. The 30-days overall mortality in this study was 7.9%. The postoperative course was uneventful for 27 (26.7%) of our patients. Univariate risk factors of postoperative mortality were: left main stem disease (p < or = 0.044), ejection fraction < 45% (p < or = 0.006), preoperative intensive care unit (ICU) (p < or = 0.002), urgent or emergency operation (p < or = 0.034). The only independent predictor of operative mortality was preoperative ICU-stay (p < or = 0.008). Significant risk factors for the number of postoperative complications in the multivariate analysis were: prior stroke (p < or = 0.04), diabetes mellitus (p < or = 0.02), New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV symptoms (p < or = 0.002) and prolonged cross-clamping time (p < or = 0.001). Mean postoperative length of stay in the ICU was 3.9 +/- 3.9 days. Late morbidity was not related to postoperative complications. Cumulative survival was 87.9%, 79.5% and 72.9% at one, two or five years, respectively. After hospital discharge, 67/93 patients (82.8%) were in NYHA functional class I or II. Cardiac surgery in very elderly patients can be performed with acceptable operative risk and a favorable long-term outcome. The individual patient risk-profile including significant co-morbid conditions and severity of the heart disease predicts not only survival but the extent of perioperative morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, New York
Loading ...
Support Center