Background: Inotropes used to obtain short-term hemodynamic benefits in cardiac surgery may carry a risk of increased myocardial ischemia and adverse outcomes. This study investigated the association between intra- and postoperative use of inotropes and mortality and postoperative complications.
Methods: A historic cohort study using prospective data from the Western Denmark Heart Registry on 6,005 consecutive cardiac surgery cases from three university hospitals. Propensity matching on pre- and intraoperative variables was used to identify a subgroup of patients receiving inotropic therapy (n = 1,170) versus comparable nonreceivers (n = 1,170) for outcome analysis.
Results: Two thousand ninety-seven patients (35%) received inotropic therapy; 3,908 (65%) did not receive any inotropic or vasopressor support perioperatively. Among propensity-matched cohort including 2,340 patients 30-day mortality was 3.2% and 1-yr mortality was 7.6%. In the matched cohort, patients exposed to inotropes had a higher 30-day mortality (adjusted hazards ratio, 3.7; 95% CI, 2.1 to 6.5) as well as a higher 1-yr mortality rate (adjusted hazards ratio, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.8 to 3.5) compared with nonreceivers. Among propensity-matched, the following absolute events rates were observed: myocardial infarction 2.4%, stroke 2.8%, arrhythmia 35%, and renal replacement therapy 23.9%. Inotropic therapy was independently associated with postoperative myocardial infarction (adjusted odds ratio, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.4 to 3.0), stroke (adjusted odds ratio, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.4 to 4.3), and renal replacement therapy (adjusted odds ratio, 7.9; 95% CI, 3.8 to 16.4).
Conclusion: Use of intra- and postoperative inotropes was associated with increased mortality and major postoperative morbidity.