Minimized extracorporeal circulation is improving outcome of coronary artery bypass surgery in the elderly

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Advanced age is a known risk factor for morbidity and mortality after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). Minimized extracorporeal circulation (MECC) has been shown to reduce the negative effects associated with conventional extracorporeal circulation (CECC). This trial assesses the impact of MECC on the outcome of elderly patients undergoing CABG. Eight hundred and seventy-five patients (mean age 78.35 years) underwent isolated CABG using CECC (n=345) or MECC (n=530). The MECC group had a significantly shorter extracorporeal circulation time (ECCT), cross-clamp time and reperfusion time and lower transfusion needs. Postoperatively, these patients required significantly less inotropic support, fewer blood transfusions, less postoperative hemodialysis and developed less delirium compared to CECC patients. In the MECC group, intensive care unit (ICU) stay was significantly shorter and 30-day mortality was significantly reduced [2.6% versus 7.8%; p<0.001]. In conclusion, MECC improves outcome in elderly patients undergoing CABG surgery.

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