Cardiac operations in patients 80 years old and older

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Background. Because the elderly are increasingly referred for operation, we reviewed results with cardiac surgical patients 80 years old or older. Methods. Records of 600 consecutive patients 80 years old or older having cardiac operations between 1988 and 1995 were reviewed. Follow-up was 99% complete. Results. Two hundred ninety-two patients had coronary grafting (CABG), 105 aortic valve replacement (AVR), 111 AVR + CABG, 42 mitral valve repair/replacement (MVR) ± CABG, and 50 other operations. Rates of hospital death, stroke, and prolonged stay (>14 days) were as follows: CABG: 17 (5.8%), 23 (7.9%) and 91 (31.2%); AVR: 8 (7.6%), 1 (1.0%), and 31 (29.5%); AVR + CABG: 7 (6.3%), 12 (10.8%), and 87 (51.4%); MVR ± CABG: 4 (9.5%), 3 (7.1%), and 16 (38.1%); other: 9 (18.0%), 3 (6.0%), and 23 (46.0%). Multivariate predictors (p < 0.05) of hospital death were chronic lung disease, postoperative stroke, preoperative intraaortic balloon, and congestive heart failure; predictors of stroke were CABG and carotid disease; and predictors of prolonged stay were postoperative stroke and New York Heart Association class. Actuarial 5-year survival was as follows: CABG, 66%; AVR, 67%; AVR + CABG, 89%; MVR ± CABG, 57%; other, 48%; and total, 63%. Multivariate predictors of late death were renal insufficiency, postoperative stroke, chronic lung disease, and congestive heart failure. Eighty-seven percent of patients believed having a heart operation after age 80 years was a good choice. Conclusions. Cardiac operations are successful in most octogenarians with increased hospital mortality, postoperative stroke, and longer hospital stay. Long-term survival is largely determined by concurrent medical diseases.




Akins, C. W., Daggett, W. M., Vlahakes, G. J., Hilgenberg, A. D., Torchiana, D. F., Madsen, J. C., & Buckley, M. J. (1997). Cardiac operations in patients 80 years old and older. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 64(3), 606–615.

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