Differential effects of advanced age on neurologic and cardiac risks of coronary artery operations

K. J. Tuman*, R. J. McCarthy, H. Najafi, A. D. Ivankovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

317 Scopus citations


Two thousand patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass were prospectively studied to compare the influence of age on the incidence of neurologic, cardiac, and other complications. Postoperative neurologic events were found in 56 (2.8%) patients, with an incidence in patients ≥75 years (8.9%) more than twice that of patients 65 to 74 (3.6%) and nine times larger than in patients <65 (0.9%). Cardiac complications did not differ between age groups except for low cardiac output state, which occurred 1.7 times more frequently in patients ≥75 years compared with those <65. Patients with postoperative neurologic events had a ninefold increase in mortality - 35.7% versus 4.0%. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated the most important predictors of a postoperative neurologic event to be age, preoperative neurologic abnormality, recent myocardial infarction, and duration of cardiopulmonary bypass. The risk of neurologic complications increases disproportionately to the risk of cardiac complications in the elderly undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass. Despite neurologic improvement (32 of 56 patients), a postoperative neurologic event was second only to low cardiac output state as the postoperative complication most highly associated with in-hospital death. These results are important for decisions regarding selection of candidates for coronary artery bypass grafting and for prediction of surgical outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1510-1517
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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