Outcome Reporting in Cardiac Surgery Trials: Systematic Review and Critical Appraisal.

Journal of the American Heart Association

PubMedID: 26282561

Goldfarb M, Drudi L, Almohammadi M, Langlois Y, Noiseux N, Perrault L, Piazza N, Afilalo J. Outcome Reporting in Cardiac Surgery Trials: Systematic Review and Critical Appraisal. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015;4(8):.
There is currently no accepted standard for reporting outcomes following cardiac surgery. The objective of this paper was to systematically review the literature to evaluate the current use and definition of perioperative outcomes reported in cardiac surgery trials.

We reviewed 5 prominent medical and surgical journals on Medline from January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2014, for randomized controlled trials involving coronary artery bypass grafting and/or valve surgery. We identified 34 trials meeting inclusion criteria. Sample sizes ranged from 57 to 4752 participants (median 351). Composite end points were used as a primary outcome in 56% (n=19) of the randomized controlled trials and as a secondary outcome in 12% (n=4). There were 14 different composite end points. Mortality at any time (all-cause and/or cardiovascular) was reported as an individual end point or as part of a combined end point in 82% (n=28), myocardial infarction was reported in 68% (n=23), and bleeding was reported in 24% (n=8). Patient-centered outcomes, such as quality of life and functional classification, were reported in 29% (n=10). Definition of clinical events such as myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, and bleeding varied considerably among trials, particularly for postoperative myocardial infarction and bleeding, for which 8 different definitions were used for each.

Outcome reporting in the cardiac surgery literature is heterogeneous, and efforts should be made to standardize the outcomes reported and the definitions used to ascertain them. The development of standardizing outcome reporting is an essential step toward strengthening the process of evidence-based care in cardiac surgery.