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Crit Care Med. 2000 Oct;28(10 Suppl):N145-50.

Noncardiac surgery: postoperative arrhythmias.

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Section of Critical Care Medicine, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.


Postoperative arrhythmias are common and represent a major source of morbidity after both cardiac and noncardiac surgical procedures. Postoperative dysrhythmias are most likely to occur in patients with structural heart disease. The initiating factor for an arrhythmia in a given patient after surgery is usually a transient insult, such as hypoxemia, cardiac ischemia, catecholamine excess, or electrolyte abnormality. Management includes correction of these imbalances and medical therapy directed at the arrhythmia itself. The physiologic impact of arrhythmias depends on arrhythmia duration, ventricular response rate, and underlying cardiac function. Similarly, urgency and type of treatment is determined by the physiologic impact of the arrhythmia, as well as by underlying clinical status. The purpose of this review is to provide current concepts of diagnosis and acute management of arrhythmias after noncardiac surgery. A systematic approach to arrhythmia diagnosis and evaluation of predisposing factors is presented, followed by consideration of specific bradyarrhythmias and tachyarrhythmias in the postoperative setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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