Minimizing the risk of perioperative stroke by clampless off-pump bypass surgery: a retrospective observational analysis.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Regensburg, Germany.
Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Impact Factor: 0.9). 03/2010; 5:14. DOI: 10.1186/1749-8090-5-14
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Stroke is a devastating complication after coronary artery bypass grafting, occurring in 1.4% to 4.3% of patients. A major cause of stroke is cerebral embolization of aortic atheromatous debris or calcified plaques. This report analyzes the incidence of stroke in patients treated according to the clampless concept, i.e. avoiding side-clamping of the aorta, by means of off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery (OPCAB) in combination with the HEARTSTRING device.
During a period of 43 months (2005-2008), 412 consecutive patients were treated with the above-mentioned method by one single surgeon. A minimum of one proximal aortal anastomosis was performed in each patient. Altogether, 542 proximal anastomosis were applied, each created by means of the HEARTSTRING device.
The mean age of patients was 67+9.7 years, the predicted mortality 5.2% (logistic EuroSCORE) and the observed mortality 1.9%. Histories of preoperative neurological disorders or cerebrovascular diseases were documented in 15% of patients. The overall incidence of postoperative stroke was 0.48% in contrast to 1.3% according to the stroke risk score.
In accordance to previously published data, our results show that avoiding aortic side-clamping during OPCAB reduces postoperative stroke rates. The HEARTSTRING device is a safe option for creating proximal aortic anastomosis.

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    ABSTRACT: Surgical revascularization remains the standard of care for many patients. Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB) without cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) has evolved during the past 20 years, and as such can significantly reduce the occurrence of neurological complications. While avoiding the aortic cross-clamping required in conventional on-pump techniques, OPCAB results in a lower incidence of stroke. However, clamp-related risk of stroke remains if partial or side-biting clamps are applied for proximal anastomoses. Others and we have demonstrated that no-touch 'anaortic' approaches avoiding any clamping during off-pump procedures via complete in situ grafting result in significantly reduced stroke rates when compared with partial clamping. Therefore, OPCAB in situ grafting has been proposed as the 'standard of care' to reduce neurological complications. However, this technique may not be applicable to for every patient as the use of free grafts (arterial or venous) requiring proximal anastomosis is often still necessary to achieve complete revascularization. In these situations, proximal anastomosis can be performed without a partial clamp by using the HEARTSTRING device, and over the last few years, considerable evidence has arisen supporting the impact of HEARTSTRING-enabled anastomosis to significantly minimize atheroembolism and neurological complications when compared with partial- or side-bite clamping. This paper provides a systematic overview and technical information about the combination of OPCAB and clampless strategies using the HEARTSTRING for proximal anastomosis to reduce stroke to levels reported for percutaneous coronary intervention.
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