Objectives: There is limited experience in the use of beating heart coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in emergency and urgent cases. The aim of this study was to retrospectively assess the safety and efficacy of this technique when used in a non-elective setting. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all urgent and emergency cases of coronary artery bypass grafting performed without cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) from July 1999 to February 2000. There were 35 patients in total. The mean age was 64.8±11.9. Twenty-six (74.3%) patients had Canadian Cardiovascular Society grade 4 angina. Twenty-six patients (74.3%) had triple vessel disease. Eleven patients (31.4%) were on preoperative IV nitrates and nine patients (25.7%) had a preoperative IABP (intra aortic balloon pump). Three patients (8.6%) had suffered a preoperative cardiac arrest during coronary angiography. Other associated significant risk factors were smoking (60%), hypertension (40%), hypercholesterolemia (57.1%) and previous Q wave myocardial infarction (31.4%). Results: Twenty-two patients (62.9%) were classified as being urgent and 13 patients (37.1%) were classified as emergencies. The mean number of anastomoses performed were 2.8±0.8 (range 1-4) with 68.6% of patients under going triple or quadruple vessel grafting. All patients (100%) received at least one arterial graft. There was no conversion to cardiopulmonary bypass. The main postoperative complications were - supraventricular arrhythmias eight (22.9%), low cardiac output seven (20%) and postoperative HF/dialysis two (5.7%). The median postoperative intensive care unit (ICU) stay was 27.5 h. The mean postoperative hospital stay was 8.3±3.1 days.One patient died (2.9%) at the eighth day after surgery due to postoperative myocardial infarction, multi-organ failure secondary to the septicaemia and ventricular arrest. Conclusion: Non-elective CABG without CPB is feasible and safe with modern cardiac stabilization devices. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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