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October 1992

Pancreatic Complications Following Cardiopulmonary Bypass: Factors Influencing Mortality

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery (Dr Lefor), University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Divisions of General Surgery (Drs Vuocolo and Sillen) and Cardiopulmonary Surgery (Dr Parker), Department of Surgery, SUNY Health Science Center and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Syracuse.

Arch Surg. 1992;127(10):1225-1231. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420100087015

• Pancreatic complications following cardiopulmonary bypass are infrequent but are associated with high mortality. All cases of pancreatic complications following cardiopulmonary bypass from 1972 to 1987 at a single institution were retrospectively reviewed. Of 5621 patients who underwent cardiopulmonary bypass, 25 (0.44%) sustained pancreatic complications. There were 15 cases of acute pancreatitis and 10 cases of pancreatic necrosis, with 11 deaths in the group reviewed, a mortality rate of 44%. Factors that were correlated with mortality associated with pancreatic complications in this study include preoperative hypotension, preoperative use of inotropic agents, and renal failure (preoperative and postperative). Factors that have been previously associated with mortality from pancreatic complications in other studies, such as fluid sequestration, respiratory failure, sepsis, tachycardia, hypocalcemia, age greater than 55 years, and abnormal laboratory findings, were not found to be significantly associated with mortality in this study. Of the five patients for whom complete data were available, not one patient received greater than 800 mg of calcium per square meter of body surface area in the perioperative period. While the exact mechanism of pancreatic injury remains unclear, based on experimental studies and clinical correlation, it is likely that pancreatic ischemia remains a significant contributing factor. We conclude that no factor specifically associated with cardiopulmonary bypass was correlated significantly with mortality.

(Arch Surg. 1992;127:1225-1231)