Outcomes for Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in High-Risk Groups: A Historical Perspective


  • Graham J. Moore
  • Albert Pfister
  • Gregory D. Trachiotis




Background: The outcomes of off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) and conventional coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass (cCABG) have been compared in detail. Similarly, several reports have examined outcomes of high-risk subsets of patients in OPCAB as a selection strategy for reducing morbidity and mortality compared to cCABG. We undertook a retrospective study comparing outcomes from the early years in our experience of beating-heart surgery in high-risk patients selected for OPCAB compared to low-risk patients having OPCAB. This study was premised on strict selection criteria in an era prior to stabilizing devices and cardiac positioners.

Methods: A total of 384 patients underwent OPCAB over a 10-year period. Clinical outcomes were compared for 280 low-risk patients and 104 high-risk patients (redo CABG, CABG with simultaneous carotid endarterectomy, or renal insufficiency/failure).

Results: The high-risk group patients were significantly older than the low-risk group patients (64.3 ± 10.5 years versus 61.5 ± 11.7 years, respectively, P = .048). The high-risk group also had a greater degree of left ventricular dysfunction (P < .001), a higher incidence of diabetes (P = .046), and a higher proportion of patients with peripheral vascular disease (P = .009). There was no significant difference in the number of grafts created, but there was a statistical difference in the type of graft used. The high-risk group received fewer internal thoracic artery grafts (P = .005) and more saphenous vein grafts (P = .041). The high-risk group had slightly prolonged median lengths of stay in the intensive care unit (2.2 versus 1.4 days, P < .001) and hospital (11 versus 8 days, P < .001) and a higher proportion of patients requiring blood transfusions (48% versus 24%, P < .001), yet there was no significant difference in major adverse outcomes.

Conclusions: In this retrospective and historical review, OPCAB was found to be equally safe in carefully selected high- and low-risk patients. These results provided for the enthusiasm and innovation to expand the usage of OPCAB in patients with coronary artery disease.


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How to Cite

Moore, G. J., Pfister, A., & Trachiotis, G. D. (2005). Outcomes for Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in High-Risk Groups: A Historical Perspective. The Heart Surgery Forum, 8(1), E19-E22. https://doi.org/10.1532/HSF98.20041148