The Unplanned Postoperative Coronary Angiogram after CABG: Identifying the Patients at Risk

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ObjectivesCoronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the “gold standard” for patients with multiple vessel coronary artery disease (CAD). However, there is no “gold standard” to control bypass patency immediately postoperatively. “Post-completion” control angiogram (CA) is not routinely performed. We retrospectively analyzed the data of all patients undergoing urgent coronary angiogram post-CABG at our center.MethodsBetween January 2005 and June 2011, a total of 6,025 patients underwent CABG (isolated or combined) for CAD in our hospital. In patients who underwent urgent postoperative CA, high serum cardiac enzymes (>100 CK-MB), severe new ECG changes, or unexpected low left ventricular function were present.ResultsA total of 106 patients (1.8%) underwent post-CABG urgent coronary angiogram. Overall 30-day mortality in this cohort was 8.5%. The average time between the cardiac operation and the coronary angiogram in these patients was 3.41 ± 5.68 days. The rates for an urgent coronary angiogram were 1.3% (n = 25), 2% (n = 65), and 1.8% (n = 16) for total arterial, combined arterial, and venous and solely venous CABG, respectively. Twenty-four percent of patients underwent CABG bypass revision, while 32% of the patients underwent PTCA, stenting, or both. Younger patients, female patients, smaller patients, and patients receiving a combined arterial and venous revascularization were at a higher risk for an unplanned postoperative CA in the multivariate risk analysis.ConclusionThis study shows that the necessity for urgent post-CABG coronary angiogram is low (1.8%). However, more than half of the patients undergoing postoperative coronary angiogram needed reintervention, and, in spite of it, had high mortality. “Completion” control angiogram is not always feasible, patients at higher risk (e.g., female patients) should be identified and post-CABG coronary angiogram performed as soon as possible without undue delay, or a primary hybrid approach with an intraoperative CA should be applied.

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