Abnormal interventricular septal motion after cardiopulmonary bypass is a widely known occurrence. The cause and exact timing of this phenomenon remain unclear. We have studied 21 patients prospectively with preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative two-dimensional and M-mode echocardiograms. Intraoperative studies were obtained with the pericardium closed and open and after completion of procedures performed with cardiopulmonary bypass. Fourteen patients had coronary artery bypass graft operations alone. Six patients had valve replacement with or without coronary bypass, and one patient had removal of a left atrial myxoma. All patients had normal interventricular septal motion before the operation, and none had abnormal septal motion intraoperatively. Four to eight days postoperatively, the septum still thickened normally in all patients, with five patients having normal, nine patients abnormal, and seven patients paradoxical interventricular septal motion. Studies in 11 patients 1 to 4 months postoperatively showed no change from the early postoperative study. The pericardium was left open postoperatively in all patients. Six patients were studied a few hours after sternal closure and all had abnormal interventricular septal motion. We conclude that abnormal interventricular septal motion after cardiac operations is not due to injury of the septum, adhesion formation, or loss of pericardial constraint. Closure of the chest wall itself, with the pericardium left open, is associated with this abnormality.
View details for Web of Science ID A1986A823600019
View details for PubMedID 3959582