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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Postoperative abdominal complications after cardiopulmonary bypass

Guohua Dong, Canhui Liu, Biao Xu, Hua Jing, Demin Li and Haiwei Wu*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Jinling Hospital, Clinical Medicine School of Nanjing University, 305 East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, 210002, Jiangsu, China

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Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2012, 7:108  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-7-108

Published: 9 October 2012



To summarize the diagnostic and therapeutic experiences on the patients who suffered abdominal complications after cardiovascular surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass(CPB).


A total of 2349 consecutive patients submitted to cardiovascular surgery with CPB in our hospital from Jan 2004 to Dec 2010 were involved. The clinical data of any abdominal complication, including its incidence, characters, relative risks, diagnostic measures, medical or surgical management and mortality, was retrospectively analyzed.


Of all the patients, 33(1.4%) developed abdominal complications postoperatively, including 11(33.3%) cases of paralytic ileus, 9(27.3%) of gastrointestinal haemorrhage, 2(6.1%) of gastroduodenal ulcer perforation, 2(6.1%) of acute calculus cholecystitis, 3(9.1%) of acute acalculus cholecystitis, 4(12.1%) of hepatic dysfunction and 2(6.1%) of ischemia bowel diseases. Of the 33 patients, 26 (78.8%) accepted medical treatment and 7 (21.2%) underwent subsequent surgical intervention. There were 5(15.2%) deaths in this series, which was significantly higher than the overall mortality (2.7%). Positive history of peptic ulcer, advanced ages, bad heart function, preoperative IABP support, prolonged CPB time, low cardiac output and prolonged mechanical ventilation are the risk factors of abdominal complications.


Abdominal complications after cardiovascular surgery with CPB have a low incidence but a higher mortality. Early detection and prompt appropriate intervention are essential for the outcome of the patients.

Abdominal complications; Cardiopulmonary bypass; Cardiovascular surgery