Myocardial protection during minimally invasive cardiac surgery through right mini-thoracotomy

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Myocardial damage is an independent predictor of adverse outcome following cardiac surgery and myocardial protection is one of the key factors to achieve successful outcomes. Cardioplegia with Custodiol is currently the most used cardioplegia during minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS). Different randomized controlled trials compared blood and Custodiol cardioplegia in the context of traditional cardiac surgery. No data are available for MICS.


The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of cold blood versus Custodiol cardioplegia during MICS.


We retrospectively evaluated 90 patients undergoing MICS through a right mini-thoracotomy in a three-year period. Myocardial protection was performed using cold blood (44 patients, CBC group) or Custodiol (46 patients, Custodiol group) cardioplegia, based on surgeon preference and complexity of surgery.


The primary outcomes were post-operative cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and creatine kinase MB (CKMB) serum release and the incidence of Low Cardiac Output Syndrome (LCOS). Aortic cross-clamp and cardiopulmonary bypass times were higher in the Custodiol group. No difference was observed in myocardial injury enzyme release (peak cTnI value was 18±46 ng/ml in CBC and 21±37 ng/ml in Custodiol; p=0.245). No differences were observed for mortality, LCOS, atrial or ventricular arrhythmias onset, transfusions, mechanical ventilation time duration, intensive care unit and total hospital stay.


Custodiol and cold blood cardioplegic solutions seem to assure similar myocardial protection in patients undergoing cardiac surgery through a right mini-thoracotomy approach.

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