Nonembolic predictors of stroke risk in coronary artery bypass patients

Giulio Pompilio, Attilio A. Lotto, Marco Agrifoglio, Carlo Antona, Francesco Alamanni, Rita Spirito, Paolo Biglioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to identify and stratify the most important nonembolic risk factors for stroke after coronary bypass grafting. From June 1994 to June 1997 a series of 1532 patients (pts) underwent isolated myocardial revascularization on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). A retrospective chart review selected 1417 pts in whom the presence of aortic calcification or left ventricular mural thrombi was not detectable by echocardiogram, angiogram, and intraoperative records. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify nonembolic variables independently correlated to postoperative stroke. A predictive model of stroke probability was then constructed by means of a mathematic method with the variables selected from logistic regression analyses. The global incidence of stroke was 1.8%. Univariate analysis revealed that, among 29 preoperative and operative variables, age, vasculopathy, emergency operation, previous cerebrovascular accident (CVA), CPB, and aortic cross-clamping times were factors strongly associated with postoperative stroke (p <0.01). A first logistic regression analysis (LRA) selected as independent predicting variables (p <0.05) age [odds ratio (OR) 1.07/year], vasculopathy (OR 4), previous CVA (OR 7.2), CPB time (OR 1/year), and emergency operation (OR 4.2). In a second stepwise LRA, age and CPB time were subdivided into cohorts as follows: age ≤ 65 years, > 65 but <75 years, ≥ 75 years; CPB time ≤ 120 minutes, > 120 but <180 minutes, ≥ 180 minutes. Both age ≥ 75 years (p = 0.024; OR 3.3) and CPB time ≥ 180 minutes (p = 0.002; OR 4.2), were found to be predictors of postoperative neurologic damage. Finally, a probability table of stroke risk was obtained with the logistic regression coefficients. A lower stroke probability (0.7%) was calculated in the absence of risk variables and a higher one in the presence of all of them (83.3%). Between these extremes, a total of 158 combinations of stroke probabilities were obtained. We concluded that previous CVA, vasculopathy, emergency operation, and age > 75 years are variously associated with a high risk of nonembolic stroke after myocardial revascularization. A duration of CPB longer than 3 hours strongly increases the probability of neurologic damage in the presence of the aforementioned variables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-663
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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