Preoperative cardiac management of the patient for non-cardiac surgery: an individualized and evidence-based approach

Priebe, H.-J.
July 2011
BJA: The British Journal of Anaesthesia;Jul2011, Vol. 107 Issue 1, p83
Academic Journal
Preoperative cardiovascular management is an essential component of overall perioperative cardiovascular care. It involves preoperative detection and management of cardiovascular disease and prediction of both short- and long-term cardiovascular risk. It thereby not only affects anaesthetic perioperative management (e.g. choice of anaesthetic drug and method, type of monitoring, and postoperative care) but also surgical decision-making (e.g. postponement, modification, and cancellation of surgical procedure). The ultimate goal of preoperative cardiovascular management is to improve overall patient outcome. This requires individualized management. Although preoperative cardiac management has improved during the past decades, we are not yet in the situation where we can accurately predict individual perioperative risk. The individual stress response and the individual interactions between pharmacological intervention and intra- and postoperative risk factors are highly variable. More importantly, preoperative cardiac management is only one aspect of overall perioperative care. There are numerous intra- and postoperative factors which have been shown to affect overall outcome. However, not all of them can reliably be predicted or modified in a way to positively affect overall outcome. Recognition of such factors and aggressive attempts at appropriate intervention may reduce overall risk more than preoperative management in isolation. Without defining and subsequently targeting intra- and postoperative risk factors, the benefit of preoperative cardiac management will be limited.


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