Current Practice of Calcium Use During Cardiopulmonary Bypass Weaning: Results of an International Survey

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020 Feb 12. Online ahead of print


To describe international practices on the use of calcium salts during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) weaning in adult cardiac surgery patients.


Multiple-choice survey on current practice of CPB weaning.


Online survey using the SurveyMonkey platform.


Departments of cardiac anesthesiology worldwide.



Measurements and Main Results

Out of 112 surveys sent, 100 centers from 32 countries replied. The majority of centers (88 of 100 = 88%) administer calcium salts intraoperatively: 71 of 100 (71%) are using these drugs for CPB weaning and 78 of 100 (78%) for correction of hypocalcemia. Among the 88 centers that use calcium salts intraoperatively, 66% (58 of 88) of respondents use calcium chloride, 22% (19 of 88) use calcium gluconate, and 12% (11 of 88) use both drugs. Calcium salts are routinely used during normal (47 of 71 centers = 66%) and difficult (59 of 71 centers = 83%) weaning from CPB. Doses of 5 to 15 mg/kg during termination of CPB were used by 55 of 71 centers (77%) either by bolus (39 of 71, 55%) or over a time period longer than 1 minute (32 of 71 = 45%). Norepinephrine is the most commonly used first line vasopressor or inotropic agent used to support hemodynamics during termination of CPB in 32 out of 100 centers (32%), and calcium is the second one, used by 23 out of 100 centers (23%).


This survey demonstrates that the majority of cardiac centers use calcium in adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery, especially during weaning from CPB. There is variability on the type of drug, dose, and modality of drug administration.