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BACKGROUND: Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) remains the standard of treatment for 3-vessel and left main coronary disease, but is associated with an increased risk of post-operative stroke compared to percutaneous coronary intervention. It has been suggested that CABG techniques that eliminate cardiopulmonary bypass and reduce aortic manipulation may reduce the incidence of post-operative stroke. OBJECTIVES: A network meta-analysis was performed to compare post-operative outcomes between all CABG techniques, including anaortic off-pump CABG (anOPCABG), off-pump with the clampless Heartstring device (OPCABG-HS), off-pump with a partial clamp (OPCABG-PC), and traditional on-pump CABG with aortic cross-clamping. METHODS: A systematic search of 6 electronic databases was performed to identify all publications reporting the outcomes of the included operations. Studies reporting the primary endpoint, 30-day post-operative stroke rate, were included in a Bayesian network meta-analysis. RESULTS: There were 13 included studies with 37,720 patients. At baseline, anOPCABG patients had higher previous stroke than did the OPCABG-PC (7.4% vs. 6.5%; p = 0.02) and CABG (7.4% vs. 3.2%; p = 0.001) patients. AnOPCABG was the most effective treatment for decreasing the risk of post-operative stroke (-78% vs. CABG, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.14 to 0.33; -66% vs. OPCABG-PC, 95% CI: 0.22 to 0.52; -52% vs. OPCABG-HS, 95% CI: 0.27 to 0.86), mortality (-50% vs. CABG, 95% CI: 0.35 to 0.70; -40% vs. OPCABG-HS, 95% CI: 0.38 to 0.94), renal failure (-53% vs. CABG, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.68), bleeding complications (-48% vs. OPCABG-HS, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.87; -36% vs. CABG, 95% CI: 0.42 to 0.95), atrial fibrillation (-34% vs. OPCABG-HS, 95% CI: 0.49 to 0.89; -29% vs. CABG, 95% CI: 0.55 to 0.87; -20% vs. OPCABG-PC, 95% CI: 0.68 to 0.97), and shortening the length of intensive care unit stay (-13.3 h; 95% CI: -19.32 to -7.26; p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Avoidance of aortic manipulation in anOPCABG may decrease the risk of post-operative stroke, especially in patients with higher stroke risk. In addition, the elimination of cardiopulmonary bypass may reduce the risk of short-term mortality, renal failure, atrial fibrillation, bleeding, and length of intensive care unit stay.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Coll Cardiol

Publication Date





924 - 936


aorta, cardiopulmonary bypass, coronary artery bypass grafting, no-touch, off-pump, stroke, Adult, Aged, Aorta, Coronary Artery Bypass, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Stroke