We have evaluated the immediate and intermediate outcome after off-pump (OPCAB) and conventional on-pump coronary artery bypass surgery (CCAB) in patients with unstable angina pectoris requiring nitrates infusion until arrival in the operating room.
A consecutive series of 153 and 161 patients with unrelenting angina pectoris underwent CCAB and OPCAB, respectively. Conversion from OPCAB to beating heart surgery with perfusion occurred in 4 patients.
The OPCAB patients had a significantly higher operative risk than CCAB patients (logistic European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation [EuroSCORE]: 13.8 +/- 12.8% vs 10.5 +/- 10.0%, p = 0.005). In the overall series, a lower 30-day postoperative mortality was observed among OPCAB patients (1.9% vs 3.9%, p = 0.33), the difference increased along the logistic EuroSCORE tertiles (upper tertile: 3.2% vs 9.5%, p = 0.14), but failed to reach statistical significance. Similar results have been observed among one-to-one propensity score matched pairs. The results of three surgeons who treated most of their patients (96.9%) with OPCAB were compared with those of three surgeons who used, in most of cases (97.1%), the CCAB technique. When adjusted for logistic EuroSCORE, patients operated on by CCAB surgeons had a significantly higher 30-day postoperative mortality (7.1% vs 2.1%, p = 0.04; odds ratio [OR] 10.143; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.084 to 94.945) as well as a higher risk of combined adverse events (47.1% vs. 35.1%, p = 0.009; OR 2.586; 95% CI 1.274 to 5.250).
This study provided further evidence on the safety and efficacy of OPCAB in the treatment of high-risk patients. A dedicated approach to OPCAB seems to provide particularly good results. Such findings further support a more confident approach with OPCAB in these patients.