Routine perioperative pulmonary artery catheterization has no effect on rate of complications in vascular surgery: a meta-analysis

Barone, James E.; Corvo, Philip R.; Tucker, James B.; Rassias, Dennis; Barone, J E; Tucker, J B; Rassias, D; Corvo, P R
July 2001
American Surgeon;Jul2001, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p674
Academic Journal
journal article
Despite widespread use pulmonary artery catheterization has not been proven to reduce complications or mortality. One study supported the use of routine preoperative pulmonary artery catheterization in moderate-risk vascular surgery patients; several other studies have reported that pulmonary artery catheterization is not efficacious. Our goal was to scrutinize the data using meta-analysis. This is a systematic review of the literature. MEDLINE was searched for all articles on pulmonary artery catheterization, optimization, oxygen delivery, and preoperative preparation of vascular surgery patients. Data from papers judged appropriate for inclusion were analyzed using a computer program, Easy MA. Complications were defined as only those that could have reasonably have been prevented by or resulted from pulmonary artery catheterization. Of hundreds of possible papers only four were found to be adequate randomized prospective studies with similar exclusions, therapeutic endpoints, and interpretable complication and mortality rates. Controls included 174 patients versus 211 in the protocol group. Power analysis showed that the combined sample sizes were adequate. The meta-analysis demonstrates that the studies are homogeneous. The use of a pulmonary artery catheter does not prevent morbidity or mortality. Of the studies providing data on the amount of intravenous fluid administered three reported that statistically significantly more fluid was given to patients who underwent pulmonary artery catheterization. Meta-analysis indicates that in moderate-risk vascular surgery patients routine preoperative pulmonary artery catheterization is not associated with improved outcomes.


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