Background Studies suggest that patients who undergo off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCABG) have fewer short-term complications and use fewer inpatient resources than do patients who undergo standard coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with extracorporeal circulation. However, dissimilarity between groups in risk factors for complications has hindered interpretation of results.

Objectives To compare the prevalence of selected complications (atrial fibrillation, stroke, reoperation, and bleeding) and inpatient resource utilization (length of stay, discharge disposition, total charges) between subjects undergoing primary isolated CABG or OPCABG who were matched with respect to key risk factors.

Methods Retrospective, causal-comparative survey conducted in 1 center for 18 months. Patients who underwent primary isolated CABG or OPCABG were matched for sex, age (within 2 years), left ventricular ejection fraction (within 0.05), and graft-patient ratio (exact match) and compared for prevalence of new-onset atrial fibrillation, stroke, reoperation within 24 hours, and bleeding. Statistical analysis included Wilcoxon and t tests for paired comparisons.

Results The sample (107 matched pairs) was 63% male, with a mean age of 66 (SD 9.5) years, a mean left ventricular ejection fraction of 0.51 (SD 0.13), and a mean graft-patient ratio of 3.41 (SD 0.74). The 2 groups did not differ significantly in New York Heart Association class (P = .43), Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score (P = .22), postoperative β-blocker use (P = .73), or comorbid conditions. None of the complications examined differed significantly between pairs.

Conclusion Patients with comparable risk profiles have similar prevalences of selected complications after CABG and OPCABG.

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