Deep Pericardial Traction Suture versus Vacuum-Assisted Apical Suction to Expose the Posterior Wall of the Heart in Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass: A Prospective, Randomized Study


  • Jan-Michael Abicht
  • Andres Beiras-Fernandez
  • Dominik Bengel
  • Calin Vicol



Background: Displacement of the heart to expose the posterior vessels during off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) may cause hemodynamic instability. Deep pericardial traction suture (DPTS) and vacuum-assisted apical suction (VAS) with the Starfish positioning device help to provide good exposure without relevant hemodynamic changes. Our aim was to compare these two methods in patients undergoing multivessel OPCAB.

Methods: We prospectively randomized 20 patients undergoing multivessel OPCAB to the use of VAS or DPTS. The Octopus device was used in both groups to stabilize the target vessel. Hemodynamic parameters, including venous oxygen content (SvO2), cardiac index (CI), central venous pressure (CVP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), were measured before grafting (baseline), after heart positioning, and during performance of peripheral anastomoses.

Results: Perioperative data for the two groups were similar. During exposure of the lateral wall, there were fewer hemodynamic changes in the DPTS group (increase in CVP) than in the VAS group (increases in CVP, PAP, and PCWP); the CVP was significantly higher in the DPTS group (P < .05). During exposure of the posterior wall, significant hemodynamic changes occurred only in the DPTS group (increase in PCWP). Values for all other parameters were similar, including anastomosis time, graft flow, postoperative myocardial enzymes, and inotropic support.

Conclusions: Heart positioning during OPCAB with either VAS or DPTS is a safe and effective maneuver for exposure of coronary arteries. In our study, the use of the VAS device produced less hemodynamic impairment during exposure of the lateral and posterior walls.


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How to Cite

Abicht, J.-M., Beiras-Fernandez, A., Bengel, D., & Vicol, C. (2012). Deep Pericardial Traction Suture versus Vacuum-Assisted Apical Suction to Expose the Posterior Wall of the Heart in Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass: A Prospective, Randomized Study. The Heart Surgery Forum, 15(4), E224-E231.




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