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UNLABELLED: The impact of perfusion technique and mode of pH management during cardiopulmonary bypass has not been well characterized with respect to postoperative cardiovascular outcome. METHODS: This double-blind, randomized study comparing outcomes after alpha-stat or pH-stat management and pulsatile or nonpulsatile perfusion during moderate hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass was undertaken in 316 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass operations. RESULTS: Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality were not affected by pH management, and the incidence of stroke (2.5%) did not differ between groups. Overall in-hospital mortality was 2.8%, eight of the nine deaths occurring in the nonpulsatile group (5.1% versus 0.6%; p = 0.018). The incidence of myocardial infarction was 5.7% in the nonpulsatile group and 0.6% in the pulsatile group (p = 0.010), and use of intraaortic balloon pulsation was significantly more common in the nonpulsatile group (7.0% versus 1.9%; p = 0.029). The overall percentage of patients having major complications was also significantly higher in the nonpulsatile group (15.2% versus 5.7%; p = 0.006). Duration of cardiopulmonary bypass, age, and use of nonpulsatile perfusion all correlated significantly with adverse outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Use of pulsatile perfusion during cardiopulmonary bypass was associated with decreased incidences of myocardial infarction, death, and major complications.

Original publication




Journal article


J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Publication Date





340 - 348


Aged, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Blood Pressure, Carbon Dioxide, Cardiopulmonary Bypass, Cerebrovascular Disorders, Coronary Artery Bypass, Double-Blind Method, Female, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Intra-Aortic Balloon Pumping, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Postoperative Care, Postoperative Complications, Prospective Studies, Pulsatile Flow, Renal Insufficiency, Risk Factors