Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) without cardiopulmonary bypass and minimal or no aortic manipulation may be associated with a lower risk of neurological complications. We investigated this issue in patients with a high risk of perioperative stroke.
Data on 7352 patients who underwent isolated CABG from January 2015 to May 2017 were included in the multicenter study E-CABG (European Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting) registry. Of these, 684 patients had an increased risk of neurological complications, ie, previous stroke or transient ischemic attack, severe carotid artery stenosis or occlusion, or previous carotid artery intervention. In this subgroup, we analyzed the rates of the combined primary endpoint comprising any postoperative stroke or transient ischemic attack. A comparative analysis between CABG with and without aortic cross-clamping was performed.
The primary endpoint was more often reached when aortic cross-clamping was used (propensity score matching, without vs with aortic cross-clamp: 0.9% vs 7.2%; P = .016). In comparison with all other revascularization techniques, off-pump CABG with avoidance of aortic manipulation was associated with the lowest rate of neurological complications (0.7%).
In patients with increased risk of perioperative stroke, aortic manipulation including the use of cardiopulmonary bypass or partial clamping for central anastomoses is associated with higher rates of postoperative neurological complications. These patients may benefit from off-pump surgery without aortic manipulation if complete revascularization can be ensured.