Conversion after off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting: the CORONARY trial experience
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Objectives: Emergent and late conversions form OFF-to-ON pump coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) have been associated with worse outcomes, however, it remains unclear as to which risk factors are associated with conversion and how to prevent them. Methods: Among 4718 patients who randomly underwent off- or on-pump CABG, the incidence of off-pump to on-pump cross-over, or 'OFF-to-ON conversion', was 7.9% (186/2356). The primary outcome was a composite of death, stroke, myocardial infarction, or new renal failure requiring dialysis. We assessed the risk factors and outcomes of converted patients. Results: Emergent OFF-to-ON conversions, defined as conversions for hypotension or ischaemia, were required for 3.2% of patients ( n = 75), while most elective conversions were due to small or intramuscular coronaries ( n = 83). OFF-to-ON converted patients required increased surgery time, blood transfusions, intensive care unit stay, and presented a higher incidence at 1 year of the composite outcome compared with non-converted off-pump patients (all P < 0.01), especially if the conversion was emergent. Conversely, elective conversions outcomes were no different compared with non-converted off-pump patients ( P = 0.35). Independent predictors of emergent conversions included higher heart rate or chronic atrial fibrillation, urgent surgery, more grafts planned and surgeon experience with off-pump CABG. Conclusions: Emergent OFF-to-ON conversion is associated with worse outcomes compared with elective conversion or no conversion. In the presence of risk factors for emergent conversion, an early and elective conversion approach is a judicious strategy.
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