Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Lack of Effectiveness of the Pulmonary Artery Catheter in Cardiac Surgery
Schwann NM, Hillel Z, Hoeft A, et al (Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA; St Luke’s—Roosevelt Hosp Ctr, NY; Bonn Univ, Germany; et al) Anesth Analg 113:994-1002, 2011§
The 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.
Using 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.