Preliminary experience with inhaled milrinone in cardiac surgery

Yoan Lamarche, Louis P. Perrault, Simon Maltais, Karine Tétreault, Jean Lambert, André Y. Denault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Background: Inhaled administration of milrinone reduces pulmonary artery pressure. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right heart failure are associated with difficult separation from cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Therefore, inhaled milrinone could facilitate separation from CPB. Objective: To determine the impact and timing of administration of inhaled milrinone. Methods: A retrospective analysis of our experience on high-risk patients receiving inhaled milrinone was conducted to evaluate the postoperative course after administration of the drug. Results: Seventy-three patients received inhaled milrinone from June 2002 to February 2005. Mean age was 64 ± 13 years, with a mean preoperative Parsonnet score of 27 ± 14. Inhaled milrinone (5 mg) was administered before (n = 30) or after (n = 40) CPB, three patients had off-pump procedures and were excluded. CPB time was 145 ± 78 min with cross-clamping times of 91 ± 56 min without any significant difference between groups. Fifty-four patients (74%) had difficult separation from CPB, 14 patients (19%) required an intra-aortic balloon pump and 10 patients (14%) needed emergency reinitiation of CPB for hemodynamic instability. Ten patients died in the perioperative period (13.7%). Patients receiving inhaled milrinone prior to CPB initiation had a lowering pulmonary artery pressure after CPB (p < .01) and had less emergency reinitiation of CPB after weaning (3% vs 23%, p = .02) as compared to those with administration after CPB. No detectable side effects were directly linked to the administration of the drug. Conclusion: In this high-risk cohort, use of inhaled milrinone was well tolerated. Administration before initiation of CPB could help weaning from CPB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1087
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Milrinone
  • Pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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