Postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC) remain a main issue after cardiac surgery. The objective was to report the incidence and identify risk factors of PPC after cardiac surgery.
An international multicenter prospective study (42 international centers in 9 countries).
A total of 707 adult patients who underwent cardiac surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass.
Measurements and Main Results
During a study period of 2 weeks, the investigators included all patients in their respective centers and screened for PPCs. PPC was defined as the occurrence of at least 1 pulmonary complication among the following: atelectasis, pleural effusion, respiratory failure, respiratory infection, pneumothorax, bronchospasm, or aspiration pneumonitis. Among 676 analyzed patients, 373 patients presented with a PPC (55%). The presence of PPC was significantly associated with a longer intensive care length of stay and hospital length of stay. One hundred ninety (64%) patients were not intraoperatively ventilated during cardiopulmonary bypass. Ventilation settings were similar regarding tidal volume, respiratory rate, inspired oxygen. In the regression model, age, the Euroscore II, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, preoxygenation modality, intraoperative positive end-expiratory pressure, the absence of pre- cardiopulmonary bypass ventilation, the absence of lung recruitment, and the neuromuscular blockade were associated with PPC occurrence.
Both individual risk factors and ventilatory settings were shown to explain the high level of PPCs. These findings require further investigations to assess a bundle strategy for optimal ventilation strategy to decrease PPC incidence.