Preparation of the cardiac patient for noncardiac surgery

Christopher Flood, Lee A. Fleisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Approximately 20 to 40 percent of patients at high risk of cardiac-related morbidity develop myocardial ischemia perioperatively. The preferred approach to diagnostic evaluation depends on the interactions of patient-specific risk factors, surgery-specific risk factors, and exercise capacity. Stress testing should be reserved for patients at moderate to high risk undergoing moderate- or high-risk surgery and those who have poor exercise capacity. Further cardiovascular studies should be limited to patients who are at high risk, have poor exercise tolerance, or have known poor ventricular function. Medical therapy using beta blockers, statins, and alpha agonists may be effective in high-risk patients. The evidence appears to be the strongest for beta blockers, especially in high-risk patients with proven ischemia on stress testing who are undergoing vascular surgery. Many questions remain unanswered, including the optimal role of statins and alpha agonists, whether or not these therapies are as effective in patients with subclinical coronary artery disease or left ventricular dysfunction, and the optimal timing and dosing regimens of these medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-665
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume75
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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