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West J Med. 1994 Jul;161(1):50-6.

Cardiac evaluation and risk reduction in patients undergoing major vascular operations.

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1
Department of Internal Medicine, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Bellflower.

Abstract

Occult coronary artery disease often accompanies symptomatic peripheral vascular disease and has an important effect on survival. Most perioperative and late fatalities after peripheral vascular operations are due to cardiac causes. Noninvasive cardiac testing can identify patients at increased risk for postoperative cardiac complications, although controversy exists regarding the optimal preoperative evaluation. Risk reduction strategies for patients known to be at high risk are also controversial. Some authors advocate coronary revascularization with coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty before the vascular procedure. Others believe that the combined morbidity and mortality of 2 operations exceed those of a peripheral vascular operation performed with aggressive monitoring and medical therapy. Continuous electrocardiographic monitoring after an operation has identified silent myocardial ischemia as a powerful predictor of cardiac complications. Ongoing research is likely to provide insights into the pathogenesis of postoperative cardiac complications and may lead to specific therapeutic interventions. Few prospective studies have been done in this area, and the threshold for preoperative and postoperative intervention is unknown. I review the literature and present an algorithm to guide cardiac testing and risk reduction in patients undergoing elective vascular surgical procedures.

PMID:
7941507
PMCID:
PMC1011368
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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