Milrinone and Mortality in Adult Cardiac Surgery: A Meta-analysis

Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.
Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia (Impact Factor: 1.46). 09/2011; 26(1):70-7. DOI: 10.1053/j.jvca.2011.06.022
Source: PubMed


The authors conducted a review of randomized studies to show whether there are any increases or decreases in survival when using milrinone in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
A meta-analysis.
Five hundred eighteen patients from 13 randomized trials.
BioMedCentral, PubMed EMBASE, the Cochrane central register of clinical trials, and conference proceedings were searched for randomized trials that compared milrinone versus placebo or any other control in the setting of cardiac surgery that reported data on mortality. Overall analysis showed that milrinone increased perioperative mortality (13/249 [5.2%] in the milrinone group v 6/269 [2.2%] in the control arm, odds ratio [OR] = 2.67 [1.05-6.79], p for effect = 0.04, p for heterogeneity = 0.23, I(2) = 25% with 518 patients and 13 studies included). Subanalyses confirmed increased mortality with milrinone (9/84 deaths [10.7%] v 3/105 deaths [2.9%] with other drugs as control, OR = 4.19 [1.27-13.84], p = 0.02) with 189 patients and 5 studies included) but did not confirm a difference in mortality (4/165 [2.4%] in the milrinone group v 3/164 [1.8%] with placebo or nothing as control, OR = 1.27 [0.28-5.84], p = 0.76 with 329 patients and 8 studies included).
This analysis suggests that milrinone might increase mortality in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The effect was seen only in patients having an active inotropic drug for comparison and not in the placebo subgroup. Therefore, the question remains whether milrinone increased mortality or if the control inotropic drugs were more protective.

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The long-term use of milrinone is associated with increased mortality in chronic heart failure. A recent meta-analysis suggested that it might increase mortality in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The authors conducted an updated meta-analysis of randomized trials in patients undergoing cardiac surgery to determine if milrinone impacted survival. DESIGN: A meta-analysis. SETTING: Hospitals. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand thirty-seven patients from 20 randomized trials. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Biomed, Central, PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane central register of clinical trials, and conference proceedings were searched for randomized trials that compared milrinone versus placebo or any other control in adult and pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Authors of trials that did not include mortality data were contacted. Only trials for which mortality data were available were included. Overall analysis showed no difference in mortality between patients receiving milrinone versus control (12/554 [2.2%] in the milrinone group v 10/483 [2.1%] in the control arm; relative risk [RR] = 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-2.43; p = 0.7) or in analysis restricted to adults (11/364 [3%] in the milrinone group v 9/371 [2.4%] in the control arm; RR = 1.17; 95% CI, 0.54-2.53; p = 0.7). Sensitivity analyses in trials with a low risk of bias showed a trend toward an increase in mortality with milrinone (8/153 [5.2%] in the milrinone arm v 2/152 [1.3%] in the control arm; RR = 2.71; 95% CI, 0.82-9; p for effect = 0.10). CONCLUSIONS: Despite theoretic concerns for increased mortality with intravenous milrinone in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, the authors were unable to confirm an adverse effect on survival. However, sensitivity analysis of high-quality trials showed a trend toward increased mortality with milrinone.
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