Risk factors for postoperative morbidity

V. A. Ferraris, S. P. Ferraris, F. H. Edwards, R. A. Guyton, B. A. Reitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective: Analysis of outcomes after coronary artery bypass grafting has focused on risk factors for operative mortality. Nonfatal perioperative morbidity is far more costly and more common after operation. To identify the risk factors that lead to postoperative morbidity, we evaluated 938 patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting at Albany Medical Center Hospital during 1993. Methods: Multivariate statistical analysis was performed on preoperative patient variables to identify risk factors for either serious postoperative morbidity or increased hospital length of stay. Variables were considered both individually and in combination. For example, age was considered individually or in combination with other variables, including parameters of blood volume (i.e., age divided by red blood cell volume or Age/RBCVOL). Similar multivariate analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors for hospital mortality. Results: In order of decreasing importance, the following patient variables were significantly associated with increased length of stay by stepwise Cox regression analysis: Age/RBCVOL, history of congestive heart failure, hypertension, femoral- popliteal peripheral vascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, and renal dysfunction. The combination variable, Age/RBCVOL, was an important risk factor for both increased length of stay and serious postoperative morbidity. Variables that were significant independent predictors of increased mortality, such as preoperative shock, and redo operation, were not risk factors for either serious morbidity or increased length of stay. Conclusions: We conclude that risk factors for postoperative morbidity are different from those for postoperative mortality. These results suggest that older patients with preoperative anemia and low blood volume who also have other comorbidities (congestive heart failure, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or hypertension) are at increased risk for postoperative complications. This allows identification of a high-risk cohort of patients who are likely candidates for interventions to lessen postoperative morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-741
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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