Background: The effect of hypothermia as a possible neuroprotective tool on the outcome of cardiac surgery is still controversial. Methods: We retrospectively assessed all patients who underwent cardiac surgery within a 14-year period and compared patients with and without postoperative stroke. Results: Stroke occurred more frequently in patients who underwent valve repair/replacement combined with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) than in patients who had CABG alone (p = 0.0002). All strokes (1.4%) were ischemic and mostly of large-vessel etiology. All patients with stroke had intraoperative minimal temperature <34°C. More patients in this group than in the group without stroke had an intraoperative minimal temperature <30°C (p = 0.01). Stepwise multivariate analysis of all pre- and intraoperative parameters identified significant risk factors for stroke: hypertension, diabetes mellitus and previous stroke as preoperative risk factors, but only lower minimal temperature as a significant intraoperative risk factor (p = 0.03; odds ratio 1.080/1°C, 95% confidence interval 1.004-1.152). The mean intraoperative temperature was 28 ± 4°C in patients who developed stroke and 30 ± 3°C in patients without stroke. Conclusions: Intraoperative hypothermia around 28°C might be harmful and associated with increased risk for postsurgical stroke.
- Cardiac surgery
- Intraoperative temperature