Background: Although coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) has long been the "gold standard" for treatment of multivessel coronary artery disease, current percutaneous interventional technologies are challenging that claim. We sought to determine long-term survival after isolated CABG to establish a baseline for comparison with interventional patients. Methods: From 1968 through 2003, 20,835 patients underwent 22,378 isolated CABG procedures by a single surgical team. The intermittent fibrillation technique without use of cardioplegia was consistently utilized as a method of myocardial protection, using cardiopulmonary bypass. Patients were prospectively followed with direct contact at annual intervals. Age stratified survival was analyzed. Long-term survival was compared between pre-stent era patients and post-stent era patients. Results: Operative mortality was 2.5% (95% confidence interval: 2.2% to 2.7%) and remained approximately constant since 1974 despite increasing patient age and comorbidities. Follow-up was 84% complete with 172,773 patient-years. Overall 5-, 15-, 25-, and 35-year survival was 86% ± 0.3%, 48% ± 0.5%, 19% ± 0.6%, and 7% ± 1.2%. By Cox regression, older age, prior myocardial infarction, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and history of CABG were risk factors for long-term survival. Surgery performed during the post-stent era was a protective factor for long-term survival. Conclusions: This study presents the long-term survival of a large series of patients after CABG performed by a single surgical team with intermittent fibrillation technique. There was no difference in observed survival up to 8 years between the pre-stent and post-stent eras. This study establishes a baseline of long-term CABG survival that could be used for comparison with other methods of surgical, or nonsurgical coronary revascularization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine