Multicenter International Survey on Cardiopulmonary Bypass Perfusion Practices in Adult Cardiac Surgery

Mohammad Irfan Akhtar, Livia Gautel, Vladimir Lomivorotov, Caetano Nigro Neto, Marc Vives, Mohamed R. El Tahan, Nandor Marczin, Giovanni Landoni, Steffen Rex, Gudrun Kunst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To assess current practice in adult cardiac surgery during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) across European and non-European countries. Design: International, multicenter, web-based survey including 28 multiple choice questions addressing hemodynamic and tissue oxygenation parameters, organ protection measures, and the monitoring and usage of anesthetic drugs as part of the anesthetic and perfusion practice during CPB. Setting: Online survey endorsed by the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists. Participants: Representatives of anesthesiology departments in European and non-European adult cardiac surgical centers. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: The survey was distributed via e-mail to European Association of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists members (n = 797) and kept open for 1 month. The response rate was 34% (n = 271). After exclusion of responses from the same centers and of incomplete answers, data from 202 cardiac centers in 56 countries, of which 67% of centers were university hospitals, were analyzed. Optimization of pump flows and tissue oxygenation parameters during CPB were applied by the majority of centers, with target flow rates of >2.2 L/min/m2 in 93% (n = 187) of centers and mean arterial blood pressures between 51 and 90 mmHg in 85% (n = 172). Hemoglobin transfusion triggers were either individualized or between 7 and 8 g/dL in 92% (n = 186) of centers. Mixed venous oxyhemoglobin saturations were assessed routinely in 59% (n = 120) and lactate in 88% (n = 178) of cardiac surgery units. Noninvasive cerebral saturation monitoring was used in a subgroup of patients or routinely in 84% (n = 169) of sites, and depth-of-anesthesia monitoring was used routinely in 53% (n = 106). Transesophageal echocardiography and pulmonary artery catheters were used routinely or in subgroups of patients in 97% (n = 195) and 71% (n = 153) of centers, respectively. The preferred site for temperature monitoring was the nasopharynx in 66% (n = 134) of centers. Anesthetic techniques were variable, with 26% of centers (n = 52) using low-tidal-volume ventilation and 28% (n = 57) using continuous positive airway pressure during CPB. Volatile agents were used routinely as the only agent during CPB in 36% sites (n = 73) and propofol in 47% (n = 95). Other drugs routinely administered included magnesium in 45% (n = 91), steroids in 18% (n = 37), tranexamic acid in 88% (n = 177), and aprotinin in 15% (n = 30) of the centers. Conclusion: This international CPB survey revealed that techniques for optimization of pump flow and oxygenation during CPB usually were applied. Furthermore, cerebral and hemodynamic monitoring devices were frequently used during CPB. However, most CPB-related anesthetic techniques and medications were more variable. More high-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to assess anesthetic techniques and organ protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number4
Early online date24 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • cardiac surgery
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • monitoring
  • organ protection
  • perfusion practice
  • tissue oxygenation




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