Predictors of Electrocardiographic Change, Cardiac Troponin Elevation, and Survival after Major Vascular Surgery: A Community Hospital Experience

Blecha, Matthew J.; Clark, Elizabeth T.; Worley, Todd A.; Salazar, Mario R.; Podbielski, Francis J.
July 2007
American Surgeon;Jul2007, Vol. 73 Issue 7, p697
Academic Journal
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of perioperative morbidity and mortality after vascular surgery. The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors for myocardial ischemia after vascular surgery and to investigate a potential association of ischemia with mortality in a community hospital setting. A retrospective review was conducted after 190 major vascular procedures. Electrocardiogram (ECG) results and troponin I levels were obtained serially during the first 24 postoperative hours. Outcomes analyzed were ischemic ECG changes, troponin 1 level more than 2 ng/mL, 6-month mortality, and overall survival. The authors investigated any association of these outcomes with each other and the type of operation, history of coronary artery disease, diabetes, recent coronary intervention, age older than 70 years, or postoperative symptoms. Twenty-seven (14%) patients experienced ischemic ECG changes. Twenty-one (11%) patients experienced troponin I elevation. Univariate analysis revealed a history of coronary artery disease, diabetes, concerning symptoms, and troponin elevation to be predictive of ECG change (P < 0.05). ECG change and symptoms were predictive of troponin elevation (P < 0.01). Cox multivariate analysis revealed only infrainguinal bypass to predict 6-month mortality (odds ratio = 2.92, P = 0.02). Diabetes was the sole predictor of overall mortality (odds ratio = 1.94, P = 0.001). Nonsustained ischemic postoperative ECG changes during the first 24 postoperative hours do not independently influence 6-month or overall mortality after major vascular surgery. Postoperative troponin elevation likely conveys a mortality risk in the subsequent 6 months. In the community hospital setting, midterm survival rates after vascular surgery equivalent to those in higher volume centers can be achieved. Patients undergoing infrainguinal bypass and diabetics continue to be the most moribund vasculopaths.


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