Health-related quality of life following off-pump versus on-pump coronary artery bypass grafting in elderly moderate to high-risk patients: a randomized trial

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Previous trials comparing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with or without extracorporeal circulation have mainly enrolled selected patients at younger age and low risk. Patient-reported health-related quality of life has not been significantly different. We compared health-related quality of life in elderly moderate to high-risk patients randomized to either off-pump or on-pump surgery.


The study is a sub-study of the randomized Best Bypass Surgery Trial that compares off-pump to on-pump treatment, with respect to peri- and postoperative mortality and morbidity in patients with a moderate to high-predicted preoperative risk. After randomization and before heart surgery, 120 consecutive patients were asked to fill in the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) and Major Depression Inventory (MDI) diagnostic scale for self-report of health-related quality of life. Three months after surgery, the same questionnaires were mailed to the patients.


The response rate was 96.5%. At baseline, the groups were comparable except for a difference in educational level. Both groups improved in all eight SF-36 domains from baseline to 3 months. No statistical differences were seen between the groups except for changes in mean difference of role limitation due to emotional problems, which was significantly (P = .04) improved in favour of the on-pump group. Depression scores remained unchanged within and between the two surgical groups.


Both on-pump and off-pump patients improved in health-related quality of life scores after CABG surgery. No clinically relevant difference between the groups could be demonstrated.

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