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J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2013 Jun;27(3):485-93. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2012.07.016. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Evaluation of autonomic reserves in cardiac surgery patients.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Montreal Heart Institute, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. a.deschamps@umontreal.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Autonomic nervous system dysfunction is a well-recognized but rarely evaluated risk factor for patients undergoing cardiac surgery. By measuring autonomic reserves in patients scheduled for cardiac surgery, the authors aimed to identify those with autonomic dysfunction and to evaluate their risk of perioperative complications.

DESIGN:

This was a prospective, observational study.

SETTING:

The study was conducted in a single academic center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixty-seven patients completed the study.

INTERVENTIONS:

Autonomic reserves were evaluated using analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure variability (BPV) after a Valsalva maneuver.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

The patients were divided into 2 groups depending on their response to the autonomic challenge, a group with autonomic reserves (AR, n = 38) and a group with negligible autonomic reserves (NAR, n = 29). The groups were compared for baseline psychologic distress, demographic and medical profiles, autonomic response to morphine premedication and the induction of anesthesia, hemodynamic instability, the occurrence of decreases in cerebral oxygen saturation, and postoperative complications. Patients in the NAR group had significantly higher psychologic distress scores (p < 0.001), a higher baseline parasympathetic tone (p = 0.003), were unable to increase parasympathetic tone with morphine premedication, had more severe hypotension at the induction of anesthesia (p < 0.001), more episodes of decreases in cerebral saturation (p = 0.0485), and a higher overall complication rate (p = 0.0388) independent of other variables studied.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with diminished autonomic reserves can be identified before cardiac surgery using analysis of HRV and BPV of the response to the Valsalva maneuver, and some evidence suggests that they may be at increased risk of perioperative complications.

PMID:
23036623
DOI:
10.1053/j.jvca.2012.07.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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