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Curr Opin Crit Care. 2011 Aug;17(4):358-61. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0b013e328348bfb5.

Risk to and resilience of the coronary heart disease patient during surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.



Three topics are at the forefront of the investigation and treatment of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) undergoing major noncardiac surgery: prophylactic perioperative beta-blockade (PPBB), prophylactic statins and prophylactic preoperative coronary revascularization (PCR). The purpose of the review is to summarize the investigational efforts in each one of these fields and to provide a subjective evaluation as to their impact on perioperative patient care.


The data on PPBB are still controversial. Most recent studies are observational with contradicting results on whether PPBB improves perioperative survival and whether chronic beta-blockade is better than beta-blockers added acutely postoperatively. The data on statins are still evolving and the main question remains whether the proven long-term pleiotrophic, plaque-stabilizing effects of statins translate into measurable improvements in hard outcome in the acute, perioperative setting. The data on PCR are also incomplete. The study that previously reported lack of any perioperative benefit to PCR now provides data that in selected patients PCR may nevertheless improve outcome.


These topics demonstrate how difficult it is to prove a significant change in outcome in high-risk CAD patients by prophylactic preoperative measures and that there is no alternative to clinical judgment and individualized patient care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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