The comparison between characteristics and outcomes of elective adult cardiac surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic and the previous year: a cross-sectional study of an early experience in a COVID-19 epicenter

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Modarres Hospital, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: COVID-19 led to an outbreak making surgeons doubt continuing elective surgeries
during the pandemic. There is little evidence about the outcomes of elective cardiac surgeries during
the pandemic. Questions exist regarding a higher prevalence of perioperative complications and mortality
rates. This study aims to evaluate the outcomes of elective cardiac surgeries during the pandemic
in comparison to the previous year. Method: This cross-sectional study discusses elective
cardiac surgeries performed during the COVID-19 peak from March 2020 to March 2021 at the
Shahid Modarres Hospital and compares the outcomes (mortality, infection, and stroke) with the
previous year. We included all candidates over 20 years old after evaluating them for COVID-19 with
polymerase chain reaction and chest computed tomography scan. We collected the data from our institutional
database and performed data analysis. Results: We performed 184 adult open-heart surgeries
during the COVID-19 peak. The male-to-female ratio was 50.5% to 49.5% with a mean age of 61. 9
patients died in total during the peak compared to 17 patients out of 341 surgeries in the previous year.
2 patients were involved with sternal wound infection and 3 with stroke. We recognized no significant
difference in mortality, sternal wound infection, and stroke between the two periods. Conclusion:
Although we should consider the probable complications of the infection during the pandemic, cardiac
surgery can be performed safely in COVID-19 centers. Effective protocols are required to create
an environment free of infection to alleviate the burden of perioperative complications during this


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