Author(s): Wong SS, Irwin MG
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Abstract Cardiovascular complications are an important cause of morbidity and mortality after non-cardiac surgery. Pre-operative identification of high-risk individuals and appropriate peri-operative management can reduce cardiovascular risk. It is important to continue chronic beta-blocker and statin therapy. Statins are relatively safe and peri-operative initiation may be beneficial in high-risk patients and those scheduled for vascular surgery. The pre-operative introduction of beta-blockers reduces myocardial injury but increases rates of stroke and mortality, possibly due to hypotension. They should only be considered in high-risk patients and the dose should be titrated to heart rate. Alpha-2 agonists may also contribute to hypotension. Aspirin continuation can increase the risk of major bleeding and offset the benefit of reduced myocardial risk. Contrary to the initial ENIGMA study, nitrous oxide does not seem to increase the risk of myocardial injury. Volatile anaesthetic agents and opioids have been shown to be cardioprotective in animal laboratory studies but these effects have, so far, not been conclusively reproduced clinically. © 2015 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.
This article was published in Anaesthesia
and referenced in Journal of Perioperative & Critical Intensive Care Nursing