Cardiac surgery in the octogenarian: Perioperative outcome and clinical follow-up

William K. Freeman, Hartzell V. Schaff, Peter C. O’Brien, Thomas A. Orszulak, James M. Naessens, A. Jamil Tajik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The perioperative and follow-up results of cardiac operations employing extracorporeal circulation and cold cardioplegic arrest were examined in 191 consecutive patients ≥80 years of age having surgery over a 5 year period (1982 to 1986). Most patients had severe preoperative symptoms with functional class III (39.8%) or IV (57.1%) limitation. The overall 30 day postoperative cardiac mortality rate was 15.7%. The total in-hospital mortality rate was 18.8%; the mean postoperative hospital stay was 16.4 ± 13.3 days. The perioperative mortality rate for elective operations was as follows: coronary artery bypass (5.6%), aortic valve replacement (9.6%), aortic valve replacement with coronary bypass (17.9%) and mitral valve surgery with or without coronary bypass (21.4%). Urgent operations were performed in 39 patients (20.4%) with a total perioperative mortality rate of 35.9%; urgent coronary artery bypass was performed in 26 patients (67%) with an in-hospital mortality rate of 23.1%. Clinical evidence of left ventricular failure, functional class IV symptoms, left ventricular ejection fraction < 50%, mitral valve repair or replacement for severe mitral regurgitation and urgent operation were associated with an increased perioperative mortality rate. Follow-up study in all 155 patients surviving postoperative hospitalization at 22.6 ± 14.8 months showed significant improvement in symptom status in all surgical subgroups. There were 18 follow-up deaths (11.6%); 10 were noncardiac. The actuarial survival rate of the entire study group was significantly better than that in age- and gender-matched control subjects (p = 0.037). Elective cardiac surgery can be performed in selected octogenarians without a prohibitive mortality rate and with significant lessening of symptoms and possibly, overall improvement in longevity of patients surviving postoperative hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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