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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Jan;33(1):222-7.

Noncardiac surgery in Eisenmenger syndrome.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the morbidity and mortality associated with noncardiac surgery (NCS) in patients (pts) with Eisenmenger syndrome.


Noncardiac surgery in pts with Eisenmenger syndrome is associated with increased cardiovascular complications.


Fifty-eight pts with Eisenmenger syndrome (17M, 41F aged 18 to 69 years (mean 41 years) who had been followed for up to 41.5 years (mean 9.3 years) were retrospectively evaluated for any NCS done at > or = 17 years of age.


Twenty-four pts had a total of 28 NCSs at an age of 17 to 55 years (mean 29 years) including 9 tubal ligations, 3 neurosurgeries, 3 cholecystectomies, 3 hysterectomies, 3 vasectomies, and 1 each spinal fusion, appendectomy, eye enucleation, hernia repair, hand surgery, tonsillectomy and therapeutic abortion. There were two deaths (7%), one following spinal fusion and the other following appendectomy at another institution. Fourteen of these NCSs were performed at our institution, including 11 under general anesthesia. The duration of anesthesia varied from 75 to 525 min (mean 165 min). All pts remained in sinus rhythm. The lowest systolic blood pressure (BP) ranged from 78 to 125 mm Hg. Of those 11 pts, 9 were extubated immediately after surgery and 2 needed dopamine. Ten patients were discharged without any complications, including 3 within 1 day of surgery. One death occurred 10 days following spinal fusion. This pt had the longest anesthesia (525 min) and an intraoperative systolic BP as low as 78 mm Hg. She also needed the largest fluid administration (6,475 cc) in addition to postoperative mechanical ventilation and dopamine.


Adult pts with Eisenmenger syndrome are at increased risk with NCS, but with current/modern techniques, the risk of death is less than previously thought. In the vast majority of cases, NCS can be undertaken without substantial morbidity, and early extubation is achievable. However, even with relatively minor surgery, significant complications, including death, can occur. Referral to major centers with expertise in the care of pts with Eisenmenger syndrome is advisable.

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