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Ann Surg. 1992 Aug;216(2):192-204.

Preoperative and long-term cardiac risk assessment. Predictive value of 23 clinical descriptors, 7 multivariate scoring systems, and quantitative dipyridamole imaging in 360 patients.

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Department of Medicine, Maisonneuve Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


A total of 360 patients underwent preoperative cardiac risk assessment using 23 clinical parameters, seven multivariate clinical scoring systems, and quantitative dipyridamole-thallium imaging to predict postoperative and long-term myocardial infarction and cardiac death after noncardiac surgery. There were 30 postoperative and an additional 13 cumulative long-term cardiac events after an average follow-up of 15 months. Clinical descriptors were not useful in predicting the outcome of individual patients. The postoperative and long-term cardiac event rates were 1% and 3.5%, respectively, in patients with normal scans or fixed perfusion defects, and 17.5% and 22% in patients with reversible defects. Using quantitative indices reflecting the amount of jeopardized myocardium, patients could be stratified by dipyridamole imaging into multiple scintigraphic subsets, with corresponding postoperative and 1-year coronary morbidity and mortality rates ranging from 0.5% to 100% (p = 0.0001). Thus, postoperative and long-term cardiac events cannot be predicted clinically, whereas quantitative dipyridamole imaging accurately identifies high-risk patients who require preoperative coronary angiography.

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