Minimally invasive coronary revascularization in women: A safe approach for a high-risk group

K R Petro, M K Dullum, J M Garcia, A J Pfister, A G Qazi, S W Boyce, A S Bafi, S C Stamou, P J Corso
Heart Surgery Forum 2000, 3 (1): 41-6

PURPOSE: Female gender has been shown to be an independent risk factor for mortality in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. This report analyzes our early outcomes in 304 women who underwent off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) surgery at the Washington Hospital Center (Washington, DC) over the last 3 years to determine whether this is a safe approach for coronary bypass in women.

METHODS: A retrospective review of 5528 cases of CABG bypass (on-pump) and 840 cases of OPCAB surgery, from June 1996 to July 1999, was performed. Women accounted for 1527 (27.6%) of the on-pump bypass cases and 304 (36.2%) of the OPCABs. All cases without cardiopulmonary bypass were included, with the majority of the most recent cases being multivessel revascularization. The data for analysis were obtained from our cardiac surgery database and included cases from all surgeons operating at the Washington Hospital Center, although the majority of off-pump cases were performed by only a few of these surgeons.

RESULTS: The two groups were similar with respect to urgent cases, redos, and other comorbities including preoperative congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, transient ischemic attack (TIA), cerebral vascular accident, and previous myocardial infarction. The mean age for the two groups was similar, 67 years for the off-pump group and 66 years for the on-pump group. The absolute number of all off-pump cases increased each year (from 175 to a total of 373), representing a corresponding increase in percentage of all coronary artery bypass procedures (from 9% to 16%). Of the total number of patients undergoing CABG, the percentage of women who underwent OPCAB doubled from 3% to 6% over the time period analyzed. The percentage of single-vessel cases in the off-pump group fell from 88% to 41% as multivessel bypasses became more routine However, the percentage of patients aged > 75 years was greater for the off-pump group (30%) than for the on-pump group (24%). Otherwise, the two groups differed only in diabetic disease (36% off-pump compared with 46% on-pump; p = 0.001) and previous transcatheter therapy (38% off-pump compared with 29% on-pump; p = 0.003). Patients who had OPCABs received fewer postoperative transfusions (40%) than the on-pump group (59%; p < 0.001). The off-pump group also had fewer neurological complications in the form of TIAs or strokes (0.3%) compared with the on-pump group (3.5%; p = 0.001). The mortality rate was 2.3% off -pump versus 4.1% on pump but did not reach statistical significance in this study (p =.12).

CONCLUSION: Myocardial revascularization in women can be performed safely without cardiopulmonary bypass. In our series, the mortality for women receiving off-pump revascularization was lower than the on-pump cohorts despite an older age and higher incidence of diabetes. Although the absolute mortality rates did not reach statistical significance, we were encouraged that the mortality rate for women operated on without CPB dropped to the mortality rate typically seen in men. We also observed a favorable tendency in the off-pump group for a shorter length of stay and a lower incidences of transient ischemic attacks, strokes, post-op bleeding, and blood transfusions. A larger series of patients with multivariate analysis and/or a prospective trial will need to be analyzed in order to confirm our findings.

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