Background: Hypothermia occurs commonly during surgery and can be associated with increased metabolic demands during rewarming in the postoperative period. Although cardiac complications remain the leading cause of morbidity after anesthesia and surgery, the relationship between unintentional hypothermia and myocardial ischemia during the perioperative period has not been studied. Methods: One hundred patients undergoing lower extremity vascular reconstruction received continuous Holter monitoring throughout the first 24 h postoperatively. Myocardial ischemia was determined by a cardiologist masked to clinical variables. The patient's sublingual temperature on arrival at the intensive care unit immediately after the surgical procedure was used to divide the patients into two groups: hypothermic (temperature, < 35° C; n = 33) and normothermic (temperature, ≥ 35° C; n = 67). The relationship between unintentional hypothermia and myocardial ischemia occurring during the first postoperative day was evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: A greater percentage of patients had electrocardiographic changes consistent with myocardial ischemia in the hypothermic group (36%, 12 of 33) compared with those in the normothermic group (13%, 9 of 67, P = 0.008). Preoperative risk factors for perioperative cardiac morbidity were similar between the two groups, except for patient age. The mean age was 70 ± 2 yr and 62 ± 1 yr in the hypothermic and normothermic groups, respectively (P = 0.001). When subgroup and multivariate analyses were used to adjust for differences in age, temperature remained an independent predictor of ischemia (odds ratio, 1.82 per degree Celsius; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-3.02). The incidence of postoperative angina was greater in the hypothermic group (18%, 6 of 33) than in the normothermic group (1.5%, 1 of 67, P = 0.002). The incidence of Pa(O2) < 80 mmHg in the arterial blood was greater in the hypothermic group (52%, 17 of 33) than in the normothermic group (30%, 20 of 67, P = 0.03). Conclusions: Unintentional hypothermia is associated with myocardial ischemia, angina, and Pa(O2) < 80 mmHg during the early postoperative period in patients undergoing lower extremity vascular surgery.
- Complications: ischemia
- Heart, ischemia: postoperative
- Temperature, hypothermia: perioperative; complications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine