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Am Surg. 1993 Sep;59(9):559-63.

Selective monitoring in abdominal aortic surgery.

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  • 1St. Paul Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Dallas, Texas 75235.


Monitoring via a pulmonary artery catheter has been advocated for all patients undergoing abdominal aortic surgery. This study was performed to identify a subgroup of patients who could be safely monitored with a central venous catheter. One hundred twenty-eight consecutive patients undergoing elective infrarenal abdominal aortic surgery were prospectively evaluated for risk of developing perioperative myocardial dysfunction based on criteria determined by the history and physical examination, chest radiography, and electrocardiography. Forty-five patients were identified as having no clinical evidence of coronary artery disease. These patients were then monitored perioperatively using a central venous catheter. All patients monitored via a central venous catheter underwent surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysmal disease (66.7%) or aortoiliac disease (33.3%) without intraoperative complications. There were 15 postoperative complications in 12 (26.7%) patients, comprised mainly of pulmonary (7) and gastrointestinal (3) complications. The cardiac-related morbidity was 4.4 per cent and consisted of congestive heart failure (1) and renal failure (1). No perioperative myocardial infarctions were detected. One (2.2%) postoperative death secondary to aspiration pneumonia occurred. The results of this data suggest that there exists a subgroup of patients undergoing elective infrarenal abdominal aortic surgery that can be monitored safely via a central venous catheter in the perioperative period.

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