BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Pulmonary complications are among the most frequently reported complications after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. However, the risks of postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) are not equal for all patients. The aim of this study was to develop a model, based on preoperative factors, for classifying patients with high and low risks for PPCs in order to implement tailored interventions. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Postoperative pulmonary complications were examined in 117 adult patients who had undergone elective CABG surgery at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands. The presence of preoperative risk factors (N=12) that have been described in the literature was noted for each patient. A risk model was developed by use of logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Preoperative risk factors for developing PPCs were an age of (>/=70 years, productive cough, diabetes mellitus, and a history of cigarette smoking. Protective factors against the development of PPCs were a predicted inspiratory vital capacity of (>/=75% and a predicted maximal expiratory pressure of (>/=75%. These risk and protective factors were included in the model (sensitivity=87% and specificity=56%), and a sum score for its clinical use was generated. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Six factors that can be determined easily before surgery, with need for only simple pulmonary testing, can provide a model for identifying patients at risk of developing PPCs after CABG surgery.