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Anesthesiol Clin. 2009 Sep;27(3):497-517. doi: 10.1016/j.anclin.2009.07.008.

Diastolic dysfunction, cardiovascular aging, and the anesthesiologist.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1009, USA.


As the number of persons aged 65 years and older continues to increase, the anesthesiologist will more frequently encounter this demographic. Cardiovascular changes that occur in this patient population present difficult anesthetic challenges and place these patients at high risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality. The anesthesiologist should be knowledgeable about these age-related cardiovascular changes, the pathophysiology underlying them, and the appropriate perioperative management. Whether presenting for cardiac or general surgery, the anesthesiologist must identify patients with altered physiology as a result of aging or diastolic dysfunction and be prepared to modify the care plan accordingly. With a directed preoperative assessment that focuses on certain aspects of the cardiovascular system, and the assistance of powerful echocardiographic tools such as tissue Doppler, this can be achieved.

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