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Lege Artis Medicinae

FEBRUARY 20, 2010

[Heart surgery among octogenerians - fiction or reality?]

SZÉKELY László, GYÖRGY Margit, JUHÁSZ Boglárka, SZABÓ J. Zoltán, SZUDI László, PAULOVICH Erzsébet, LONKAY Eszter, HORKAY Ferenc

[OBJECTIVE - Aging of the society results in important demographic changes in cardiac surgical practice. Controversy exists as to whether heart surgery in elderly patients improves their life expectancy and the severe functional restraint caused by their heart diseases. PATIENTS AND METHODS - We discuss a retrospective study of octogenarian patients who underwent cardiac surgical procedures in our institutions between 01.01.2000. and 30.06.2006. The mean age of the 105 participants was 81.5 years (80-87). 67% (70) of patients had coronary artery disease (CAD). 31% (33) of the patients had aortic valve stenosis (AVR), of whom 16 had isolated AVR and 17 had AVR combined with CAD. One patient had surgery because of mitral valve insufficiency (MVR) only, and one was treated for combined AVR and MVR. The average surgical euroscore was 9.7 (5-18) and the predictive mortalities were 18%. 9.5% of the procedures were acute, 42.9% were urgent and 47.6% were chronic surgeries. RESULTS - The average operating time was 149±23 min, duration of the aortic cross clamp was 65±11 min. OPCAB procedures were performed in 82.9% of patients treated for CAD. In the postoperative period, the occurrence of renal failure was 2.9%, blood transfusions were needed in 37.4% of patients, and neurological deficits occurred in 2.9% of patients. The incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction was 5.6%. The rate of early mortality was 4.8%, the rate of late (>30 days) mortality was 14.3%. At the last follow-up examination, 67 (79%) of the surviving 85 patients were free of cardiac symptoms, physically active and able to take care of themselves. 14 patients (17%) needed some help and only 4 patients (5%) were unable of taking care of themselves. CONCLUSIONS - The mortality of cardiac diseases can be reduced by cardiac surgeries in octagenerians. Improvement of cardiac symptoms improves the patients’ functional status and their quality of life can be similar to that of healthy people of the same age.]