Authors: Hassan A, Anderson C, Kypson A, Kindell L, Ferguson TB, Chitwood WR Jr, Rodriguez E.

Reference: Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Dec 23


Advances in critical care medicine have allowed for improved care of patients requiring prolonged intensive care unit length of stay (prICULOS) after cardiac operations, yet little is known regarding their eventual outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine short- and long-term outcomes in patients undergoing cardiac operations with prICULOS.

All cases of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve, mitral valve, and combined CABG/valve surgical procedures performed at a single institution from July 2002 to July 2007 were identified. All-cause mortality in patients discharged alive from the hospital was determined until December 2007 through linkage with the Social Security Death Index. Patients who experienced intraoperative death or those with missing or invalid social security numbers were excluded. The definition of prICULOS was total ICULOS greater than 7 days.


A total of 3,478 patients met inclusion criteria. One hundred thirty-seven of three thousand four hundred seventy-eight patients (3.9%) experienced prICULOS. These patients were more likely to be older than 70 years (55.5% versus 30.5%; p < 0.0001) and to have had recent myocardial infarction (28.5% versus 20.1%; p = 0.02), previous cardiac operation (18.3% versus 6.9%; p < 0.0001), and emergent status (9.5% versus 1.6%; p < 0.0001). They experienced greater in-hospital mortality (37.2% versus 1.7%; p < 0.0001) and those who were discharged alive had worse long-term survival (log-rank, p < 0.0001). After risk adjustment, prICULOS emerged as a significant predictor of in-hospital death (odds ratio [OR] 20.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 12.9-33.7) and decreased long-term survival (hazard ratio [HR] 2.9; 95% CI, 2.0-4.3).

Patients with prICULOS after cardiac operations have worse overall outcomes. These data may be used to inform these patients and their families of realistic expectations regarding their clinical course.

Pubmed ID: 22197534