There is no consensus on which drugs, techniques or perioperative strategies can affect mortality in cardiac surgery patients. The first international consensus conference was performed with the aim of identifying these measures, and suggesting measures to address future investigations. The consensus consisted in a continuous internet-based process with a final meeting. A comprehensive literature review was performed to identify topics that subsequently generated position statements for discussion, voting and ranking. The consensus conference identified the non surgical interventions that merit urgent study to achieve further reductions in mortality after cardiac surgery: insulin, intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, levosimendan, volatile anesthetics, statins, chronic beta-blockade, early aspirin therapy and referral to high-volume centers.
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