• Anesthesia and analgesia · Nov 2011

    Multicenter Study

    Lack of effectiveness of the pulmonary artery catheter in cardiac surgery.

    • Nanette M Schwann, Zak Hillel, Andreas Hoeft, Paul Barash, Patrick Möhnle, Yinghui Miao, and Dennis T Mangano.
    • Allentown Anesthesia Associates and the Leigh Valley Healthcare Network, Department of Anesthesiology, 1245 Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite 300, Allentown, PA 18103, USA. schwann@mac.com
    • Anesth. Analg.. 2011 Nov 1;113(5):994-1002.

    BackgroundThe pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) continues to be used for monitoring of hemodynamics in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery despite concerns raised in other settings regarding both effectiveness and safety. Given the relative paucity of data regarding its use in CABG patients, and given entrenched practice patterns, we assessed the impact of PAC use on fatal and nonfatal CABG outcomes as practiced at a diverse set of medical centers.MethodsUsing a formal prospective observational study design, 5065 CABG patients from 70 centers were enrolled between November 1996 and June 2000 using a systemic sampling protocol. Propensity score matched-pair analysis was used to adjust for differences in likelihood of PAC insertion. The predefined composite endpoint was the occurrence of any of the following: death (any cause), cardiac dysfunction (myocardial infarction or congestive heart failure), cerebral dysfunction (stroke or encephalopathy), renal dysfunction (dysfunction or failure), or pulmonary dysfunction (acute respiratory distress syndrome). Secondary variables included treatment indices (inotrope use, fluid administration), duration of postoperative intubation, and intensive care unit length of stay. After categorization based on PAC and transesophageal echocardiography use (both, neither, PAC only, transesophageal echocardiography only), we performed the primary analysis contrasting PAC only and neither (total, 3321 patients), from which propensity paring yielded 1273 matched pairs.ResultsThe primary endpoint occurred in 271 PAC patients versus 196 without PAC (21.3% vs.15.4%; adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.24 to 2.26; P<0.001). The PAC group had an increased risk of all-cause mortality, 3.5% vs 1.7% (AOR, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.11 to 3.88; P=0.02) and an increased risk of cardiac (AOR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.20; P=0.007), cerebral (AOR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.08 to 3.77; P=0.03) and renal (AOR, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.68 to 3.62; P<0.001) morbid outcomes. PAC patients received inotropic drugs more frequently (57.8% vs 50.0%; P<0.001), had a larger positive IV fluid balance after surgery (3220 mL vs 3022 mL; P=0.003), and experienced longer time to tracheal extubation (15.40 hours [11.28/20.80] versus 13.18 hours [9.58/19.33], median plus Q1/Q3 interquartile range; P<0.0001). Use of PAC was also associated with prolonged intensive care unit stay (14.5% vs 10.1%; AOR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.06 to 2.27; P=0.02).ConclusionsUse of a PAC during CABG surgery was associated with increased mortality and a higher risk of severe end-organ complications in this propensity-matched observational study. A randomized controlled trial with defined hemodynamic goals would be ideal to either confirm or refute our findings.

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