Off-Pump versus On-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass: Can OPCAB Reduce Neurologic Injury?

  • C. Schmitz
  • S. Weinreich
  • R. Schneider
  • D. Schneider
  • I. Speth
  • C. Schulze-Rauschenbach
  • C. Pohl
  • A. Welz
  • C. Pohl
  • A. Welz
  • A. Welz


Objective: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with cardiopulmonary bypass is still the gold standard for surgical myocardial revascularization. Despite advances in techniques and technologies, documented evidence indicates that cardiopulmonary bypass remains the major source of intraoperative brain injury. This study was set up to test whether off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) is superior to CABG regarding postoperative neurologic outcome or neurocognitive function.

Methods: Between January 1999 and June 2001, 251 patients scheduled for coronary revascularization were divided into 2 groups, CABG (control) and OPCAB. All patients underwent an extensive neurologic and neurocognitive battery of tests preoperatively and postoperatively at 48 hours, 7 days, and 3 months following surgery.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups regarding the preoperative or intraoperative data. The means for patient age, number of grafts, and number of central anastomoses were, respectively, 65.4 years (CABG) and 64.6 years (OPCAB), 3.0 (CABG) and 2.2 (OPCAB), and 2.0 (CABG) and 1.2 (OPCAB). The occurrence of stroke was 2.3% (CABG) and 0% (OPCAB).

Conclusion: Neurologic complications and postoperative neurocognitive dysfunction remain major concerns in coronary artery surgery. Besides the occurrence of stroke, which dramatically reduces the success of the heart operation, the importance of neurocognitive disorders for postoperative quality of life is not yet well defined. OPCAB significantly improves postoperative neurocognitive function, which may in turn improve the postoperative quality of life.


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How to Cite
Schmitz, C., Weinreich, S., Schneider, R., Schneider, D., Speth, I., Schulze-Rauschenbach, C., Pohl, C., Welz, A., Pohl, C., Welz, A., & Welz, A. (2005). Off-Pump versus On-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass: Can OPCAB Reduce Neurologic Injury?. The Heart Surgery Forum, 6(3), 127-130.