Objective: The effects of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and altered processes of care on nonelective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) outcomes remain unknown. We hypothesized that patients with COVID-19 infection would have longer hospital lengths of stay and greater mortality compared with COVID-negative patients, but that these outcomes would not differ between COVID-negative and pre-COVID controls. Methods: The National COVID Cohort Collaborative 2020-2022 was queried for adult patients undergoing CABG. Patients were divided into COVID-negative, COVID-active, and COVID-convalescent groups. Pre-COVID control patients were drawn from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Adjusted analysis of the 3 COVID groups was performed via generalized linear models. Results: A total of 17,293 patients underwent nonelective CABG, including 16,252 COVID-negative, 127 COVID-active, 367 COVID-convalescent, and 2254 pre-COVID patients. Compared to pre-COVID patients, COVID-negative patients had no difference in mortality, whereas COVID-active patients experienced increased mortality. Mortality and pneumonia were higher in COVID-active patients compared to COVID-negative and COVID-convalescent patients. Adjusted analysis demonstrated that COVID-active patients had higher in-hospital mortality, 30- and 90-day mortality, and pneumonia compared to COVID-negative patients. COVID-convalescent patients had a shorter length of stay but a higher rate of renal impairment. Conclusions: Traditional care processes were altered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our data show that nonelective CABG in patients with active COVID-19 is associated with significantly increased rates of mortality and pneumonia. The equivalent mortality in COVID-negative and pre-COVID patients suggests that pandemic-associated changes in processes of care did not impact CABG outcomes. Additional research into optimal timing of CABG after COVID infection is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-352
Number of pages11
JournalJTCVS Open
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • COVID-19
  • nonelective coronary artery bypass grafting
  • outcomes
  • pandemic


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