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BACKGROUND: The relative benefits and risks of performing coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) with a beating-heart technique (off-pump CABG), as compared with cardiopulmonary bypass (on-pump CABG), are not clearly established. METHODS: At 79 centers in 19 countries, we randomly assigned 4752 patients in whom CABG was planned to undergo the procedure off-pump or on-pump. The first coprimary outcome was a composite of death, nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or new renal failure requiring dialysis at 30 days after randomization. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the rate of the primary composite outcome between off-pump and on-pump CABG (9.8% vs. 10.3%; hazard ratio for the off-pump group, 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 1.14; P=0.59) or in any of its individual components. The use of off-pump CABG, as compared with on-pump CABG, significantly reduced the rates of blood-product transfusion (50.7% vs. 63.3%; relative risk, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.85; P<0.001), reoperation for perioperative bleeding (1.4% vs. 2.4%; relative risk, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.93; P=0.02), acute kidney injury (28.0% vs. 32.1%; relative risk, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.80 to 0.96; P=0.01), and respiratory complications (5.9% vs. 7.5%; relative risk, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.63 to 0.98; P=0.03) but increased the rate of early repeat revascularizations (0.7% vs. 0.2%; hazard ratio, 4.01; 95% CI, 1.34 to 12.0; P=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: There was no significant difference between off-pump and on-pump CABG with respect to the 30-day rate of death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or renal failure requiring dialysis. The use of off-pump CABG resulted in reduced rates of transfusion, reoperation for perioperative bleeding, respiratory complications, and acute kidney injury but also resulted in an increased risk of early revascularization. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; CORONARY number, NCT00463294.).

Original publication




Journal article


N Engl J Med

Publication Date





1489 - 1497


Aged, Blood Transfusion, Coronary Artery Bypass, Coronary Artery Bypass, Off-Pump, Coronary Artery Disease, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Infarction, Postoperative Complications, Renal Insufficiency, Reoperation, Single-Blind Method, Stroke, Treatment Outcome