Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2015 Dec 10;21(6):727-33. Epub 2015 Sep 10.
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Istanbul Mehmet Akif Ersoy Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
Objectives: In this randomized, controlled and parallel-group prospective study, the feasibility of total pericardial closure with an intrapericardial drain and a pericardio-pleural window (pericardial cavity intervention) was investigated by examining postoperative outcomes, including atrial fibrillation and pericardial effusion, following coronary artery surgery.
Methods: Cases were classified into two groups using a random procedure: the closure group and the open group. Insertion of an intrapericardial drain along the right atrium, pericardio-pleural window and total closure of the pericardium were performed in patients in the closure group. Partial closure of the pericardium was performed in patients in the open group. A straight semi-rigid drain was inserted into the extrapericardial anterior mediastinum and a right angle drain was inserted into the left chest in all patients. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the impact of surgical technique on the rate of postoperative in-hospital atrial fibrillation in the closure group. The secondary endpoint was to evaluate the relationship between the surgical technique and postoperative amount of pericardial effusion.
Results: A total of 142 isolated, on-pump cases were examined: 72 in the open group and 70 in the closure group. Postoperative atrial fibrillation occurred in 27.78% of the cases in the open group and 8.57% of the patients in the closure group (P = 0.003). Another statistically significant outcome was the lower incidence of small pericardial effusion in the patient group with a closed pericardium during the second day of postoperative care (P = 0.039). The length of both critical care unit (P = 0.008) and hospital stay (P = 0.047) were also significantly shorter in the patient group with a closed pericardium.
Conclusions: Total pericardiorrhaphy with pericardial cavity intervention can be acceptable and favourable in terms of its outcomes, including reducing incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation, pericardial effusion and length of hospitalization.