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The prevalence of patients with severe left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) referred for coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is increasing. The aim of the present study was to assess the outcomes of patients with severe LVD undergoing CABG.Outcomes of 115 consecutive patients with severe LVD (left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF]≤ 30%, mean 22 ± 6%) undergoing isolated CABG between 1995 and 2000 were compared to 2335 patients with LVEF >30% (HEF). To further evaluate the LVD patients, they were divided into three subgroups base on LVEF: 0% to 10%, 11% to 20%, and 21% to 30%. Data were collected prospectively and entered into the departmental database of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.Patients in the LVD group had increased incidence of diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), peripheral vascular disease, prior myocardial infarction (MI), congestive heart failure, and less elective procedures compared to the HEF group. Despite this greater risk profile, operative mortality (LVD 2.6% vs. HEF 1.2%, p = 0.19), the incidence of stroke (2.6% vs. 1.0%, p = 0.13), and perioperative MI (0.9% vs. 0.7%) were not statistically different between the groups. The incidence of respiratory (14.8% vs. 1.9%, p < 0.001), renal (5.2% vs. 1.0%, p < 0.001), and vascular (5.2% vs. 0.5%, p < 0.001) complications was significantly higher in the LVD group, resulting in a longer hospital length of stay (8 ± 8 vs. 6 ± 4 days, p < 0.0001). In a multivariate analysis, advanced age was as an independent predictor of hospital mortality. Average follow-up in 108 (94%) LVD patients was 36 ± 22 months (range 2 to 78 months). Twenty-one patients expired during the follow-up, for nine the causes were cardiac-related. Three- and 5-year survival rates were 91 ± 3% and 76 ± 6%, respectively. Independent predictors of mid-term mortality in the LVD group by a multivariate analysis included female gender, renal failure, respiratory complications, and grade I/II mitral regurgitation (MR). At the time of follow-up, 72% of LVD patients were in functional class I/II. There were no statistically significant differences in short- and mid-term outcomes among the LVD subgroups.CABG in patients with severe LVD can be performed with a low mortality, albeit with higher morbidity and longer length of hospital stay, than patients with LVEF >30%. Low ejection fraction per se was not a predictor of hospital mortality. CABG should be considered a safe and effective therapy for low ejection fraction patients with ischemic heart disease. Mitral valve repair/replacement in the presence of moderate degree of MR should be considered at the time of the initial operation.