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JAMA. 1993 Dec 8;270(22):2699-707.

A randomized clinical trial of the effect of deliberate perioperative increase of oxygen delivery on mortality in high-risk surgical patients.

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Department of Medicine, St George's Hospital, London, England.



To assess the effect of deliberate perioperative increase in oxygen delivery on mortality and morbidity in patients who are at high risk of both following surgery.


Prospective, randomized clinical trial.


A teaching hospital general intensive care unit, London, England.


A total of 107 surgical patients, who were assessed as high risk from previously identified criteria, were studied during an 18-month period.


Patients were randomly assigned to a control group (n = 54) that received best standard perioperative care, or to a protocol group (n = 53) that, in addition, had deliberate increase of oxygen delivery index to greater than 600 mL/min per square meter by use of dopexamine hydrochloride infusion.


Mortality and complications were assessed to 28 days postoperatively.


Groups were similar with respect to demographics, admission criteria, operation type, and admission hemodynamic variables. Groups were treated similarly to maintain blood pressure, arterial saturation, hemoglobin concentration, and pulmonary artery occlusion pressure; however, once additional treatment with dopexamine hydrochloride had been given, the protocol group had significantly higher oxygen delivery preoperatively (median, 597 vs 399 mL/min per square meter; P < .001) and postoperatively (P < .001). Results indicate a 75% reduction in mortality (5.7% vs 22.2%; P = .015) and a halving of the mean (+/- SEM) number of complications per patient (0.68 [+/- 0.16] vs 1.35 [+/- 0.20]; P = .008) in patients randomized to the protocol group.


Perioperative increase of oxygen delivery with dopexamine hydrochloride significantly reduces mortality and morbidity in high-risk surgical patients.

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