Prolonged stay in intensive care unit is a powerful predictor of adverse outcomes after cardiac operations

Balakrishnan Mahesh, Cliff K. Choong, Kimberley Goldsmith, Caroline Gerrard, Samer A.M. Nashef, Alain Vuylsteke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) stay on in-hospital mortality and long-term survival. Methods: Prospectively collected data from 6,101 consecutive patients who underwent surgery between 2003 and 2007 were analyzed. Prolonged ICU stay was defined as a total duration of ICU stay of 3 days or more postoperatively, including readmissions; patients with an ICU stay less than 3 days were identified as controls. Univariate and multiple variable analyses were performed to identify risk factors associated with prolonged ICU stay. Results: Of 6,101 patients, 1,139 (18.7%) patients had a prolonged ICU stay. These patients had a higher ICU mortality (10%) compared with controls (0.6%; p < 0.001). On discharge from the ICU, their hospital mortality was still 6-fold higher (1.2%) compared with controls (0.2%; p < 0.001). Finally, the patients who had prolonged ICU stays had lower survival after discharge from the ICU - 89.2% and 81.2% at 1 year and 3 years, respectively, compared with 97.8% and 93.6%, respectively, for controls (p < 0.001). Multiple variable analysis revealed prolonged ICU stay to be an independent predictor of prolonged hospital stay, higher hospital mortality, and poorer long-term survival (all p < 0.001). Conclusions: Prolonged ICU stay is an important predictor of adverse immediate, short-term, and long-term outcomes after cardiac operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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