Perioperative beta-blocker therapy has been considered a mainstay of perioperative cardioprotection in patients with or at risk of coronary artery diseases. However, current recommendations for perioperative beta blockade are based mainly on the findings of trials with inadequate methodology and data analysis. The recently published results of the first adequately powered large controlled randomized trial on the efficacy and safety of perioperative beta-blocker therapy confirmed the benefit of such therapy on the perioperative incidence of non-fatal myocardial infarctions. However, such a benefit occurred at the expense of increased total mortality and increased incidence of stroke, negating any beneficial effect. A subsequently published meta-analysis confirmed, in large part, these findings. Given these recent publications, most of the current recommendations for perioperative beta-blocker therapy are no longer supported by evidence, therefore respective revision is needed.
THIS IS THE FIRST OF 2 ARTICLES EVALUATING cardiac events in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. In this article, we review the magnitude of the problem, the pathophysiology of these events, approaches to risk assessment and communication of risk. The number of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery worldwide is growing, and annually 500 000 to 900 000 of these patients experience perioperative cardiac death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) or nonfatal cardiac arrest. Although the evidence is limited, a substantial proportion of fatal perioperative MIs may not share the same pathophysiology as nonoperative MIs. A clearer understanding of the pathophysiology is needed to direct future research evaluating prophylactic, acute and long-term interventions. Researchers have developed tools to facilitate the estimation of perioperative cardiac risk. Studies suggest that the Lee index is the most accurate generic perioperative cardiac risk index. The limitations of the studies evaluating the ability of noninvasive cardiac tests to predict perioperative cardiac risk reveals considerable uncertainty as to the role of these popular tests. Similarly, there is uncertainty as to the predictive accuracy of the American College of Cardiology / American Heart Association algorithm for cardiac risk assessment. Patients are likely to benefit from improved estimation and communication of cardiac risk because the majority of noncardiac surgeries are elective and accurate risk estimation is important to allow informed patient and physician decision-making.
Perioperative blood transfusion carries numerous potential risks concerning the transmission of infective diseases and immunodepression that can facilitate the occurrence of postoperative infectious complications. Explanation of connections between perioperative blood transfusion and postoperative septic complication worldwide is not well documented. Many studies have described a correlation between perioperative blood transfusions and postoperative infections. On the contrary, other studies indicate that factors influencing the need for blood transfusions during surgery have a greater bearing than blood transfusion per se on the occurrence of postoperative complications.
Patients and methods
A prospective study was conducted in our Department on 110 consecutive patients undergoing oesophageal resection for primary cancer, in order to evaluate the incidence of postoperative infections related to perioperative allogenic blood transfusions. For each patient we preoperatively recorded in a computerized data-base several known risk-factors for postoperative infections; in detail we registered the administration of allogenic perioperative blood transfusions (period of administration, number of packages administered).
Among the enrolled 110 patients, 53 (48%) received perioperative blood transfusions: in this group postoperative infections (overall infective complications) occurred in 27 patients. After a multivariate analysis we observed that perioperative blood transfusions significantly affected as an independent variable the development of wound infections (p = 0.02).
Blood transfusions independently affected the incidence of wound infections in patients who underwent oesophageal resection for primary cancer.
Objective: Perioperative morbidity and mortality in patients receiving pneumonectomy because of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains quite high. The aim of this study is to identify risk factors to minimize perioperative mortality and morbidity.
Patients and method: The results of 156 Patients who received pneumonectomy between 1995 and 2004 were reviewed retrospectively. All patients had stage I or II NSCLC. In 81 cases a right sided and in 75 a left sided pneumonectomy was performed. Cardiopulmonary function tests were sufficient for pneumonectomy.
Results: Overall perioperative 30-day mortality was 7.1% (n=11), in hospital mortality 8.3% (n=13). The cause was sepsis in 6 cases, cardiac failure in 4 cases, and respiratory insufficiency in 3 cases. In univariable and multivariable regression analysis considering mortality, none of the prognostic factors reached significance. The odds ratio for postoperative death was 1.6 fold for smokers in comparison to non smokers. Complications after pneumonectomy were seen in 34.6%, with arrhythmia in 16.0%, sepsis in 1.9% and bronchopleural fistula (BPF) occurring in 6.4%. Smoking and intraoperative blood loss >500 ml were highly significant perioperative risk factors.
Conclusion: Smoking until operation and intraoperative blood loss were independent postoperative risk factors leading to complications after pneumonectomy for NSCLC. The risk for complications was 2.8-fold higher for smokers.
pneumonectomy; risk factor; morbidity; mortality; complications; smoking
The number of subjects undergoing major noncardiac surgery who are at risk for perioperative myocardial infarction (MI) is growing worldwide.
It has been estimated that 500,000 to 900,000 patients suffer major perioperative cardiovascular complications every year, with consequent heavy, long-term prognostic implications and costs.
It is well known that perioperative MIs don’t share the same pathophysiology as nonsurgical MIs but the relative role of the different, potential triggers has not been completely clarified.
Many aspects of the perioperative management, including risk-stratification and prophylactic or postoperative interventions have also not been completely defined.
Throughout recent years many resources have been invested to clarify these aspects and experts have developed indices and algorithm-based strategies to better assess the cardiac risk and to guide the perioperative management.
The scope of the present review is to discuss the main aspects of perioperative MI in noncardiac surgery, with particular regard to epidemiology, pathophysiology, preoperative risk stratification, prophylaxis and therapy.
Myocardial infarction; Noncardiac surgery; Cardiac risk
For many patients optimal perioperative care may require little or no additional medical management beyond that given by the anaesthetist and surgeon. However, the continued existence of a group of surgical patients at high risk for morbidity and mortality indicates an ongoing need to identify such patients and deliver optimal care throughout the perioperative period. A group of patients exists in whom the risk for death and serious complications after major surgery is in excess of 20%. The risk is related mainly to the patient's preoperative physiological condition and, in particular, the cardiovascular and respiratory reserves. Cardiovascular management of the high-risk surgical patient is of particular importance. Once the medical management of underlying disease has been optimized, two principal areas remain: the use of haemodynamic goals to guide fluid and inotropic therapy, and perioperative β blockade. A number of studies have shown that the use of goal-directed haemodynamic therapy during the perioperative period can result in large reductions in morbidity and mortality. Some patients may also benefit from perioperative β blockade, which in selected patients has also been shown to result in significant mortality reductions. In this review a pragmatic approach to perioperative management is described, giving guidance on the identification of the high-risk patient and on the use of goal-directed haemodynamic therapy and β blockade.
β blockade; high-risk; oxygen delivery; surgery
There is an urgent need for new prognostic markers of breast cancer metastases to ensure that newly diagnosed patients receive appropriate therapy. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential value of gene expression signatures in assessing the risk of developing distant metastases. However, due to the small sample sizes of individual studies, the overlap among signatures is almost zero and their predictive power is often limited. Integrating microarray data from multiple studies in order to increase sample size is therefore a promising approach to the development of more robust prognostic tests.
In this study, by using a highly stable data aggregation procedure based on expression comparisons, we have integrated three independent microarray gene expression data sets for breast cancer and identified a structured prognostic signature consisting of 112 genes organized into 80 pair-wise expression comparisons. A classical likelihood ratio test based on these comparisons, essentially weighted voting, achieves 88.6% sensitivity and 54.6% specificity in an independent external test set of 154 samples. The test is highly informative in assessing the risk of developing distant metastases within five years (hazard ratio 9.3 with 95% CI 2.9–29.9).
Rank-based features provide a stable way to integrate patient data from separate microarray studies due to invariance to data normalization, and such features can be combined into a useful predictor of distant metastases in breast cancer within a statistical modeling framework which begins to capture gene-gene interactions. Upon further confirmation on large-scale independent data, such prognostic signatures and tests could provide a powerful tool to guide adjuvant systemic treatment that could greatly reduce the cost of breast cancer treatment, both in terms of toxic side effects and health care expenditures.
Objectives: To evaluate the risk factors for perioperative complications among patients undergoing craniofacial resection for the treatment of skull base tumors. Design: Retrospective analysis. Participants: The study group comprised 29 patients with skull base tumors (22 malignant and 7 benign) who underwent 30 craniofacial resections at Hokkaido University Hospital between 1989 and 2006. Of these cases, 21 had undergone prior treatment by radiation (16 cases), surgery (7 cases), or chemotherapy (1 case). Moreover, 19 needed extended resection involving the dura (11 cases), brain (5 cases), orbit (12 cases), hard palate (5 cases), skin (3 cases), or cavernous sinus (2 cases). Main outcome measures: Perioperative complications and risk factor associated with their incidence. Results: Perioperative complications occurred in 12 patients (40%; 13 cases). There was a significant difference between complication rates for cases with and without prior therapy (52.4% vs. 11.1%). The complication rate for dural resection cases was 81.8%. There was a significant difference between complication rates for cases with and without dura resection. No postoperative mortality was reported. Conclusions: Craniofacial resection is a safe and effective treatment for skull base tumors. However, additional care is required in patients with extended resection (especially dural) and those who have undergone prior therapy.
Complications; craniofacial resection; skull base surgery
Post-operative complications are a significant source of morbidity and mortality for patients undergoing surgery. However, there is little research in the emerging field of perioperative medicine beyond cardiac risk stratification. We sought to determine the research priorities for perioperative medicine using a cross sectional survey of Canadian and American general internists.
Surveys were electronically sent to 312 general internists from the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine and 130 internists from the perioperative medicine research interest group within the US based Society of General Internal Medicine. The questionnaire contained thirty research questions and respondents were asked to rate the priority of these questions for future study.
The research topics with the highest ratings included: the need for tight control of diabetes mellitus postoperatively and the value of starting aspirin on patients at increased risk for postoperative cardiac events. Research questions evaluating the efficacy and safety of perioperative interventions had higher ratings than questions relating to the prediction of postoperative risk. Questions relating to the yield of preoperative diagnostic tests had the lowest ratings (p < 0.001 for differences across these categories).
The results of this survey suggest that practicing general internists believe that interventions studies are a priority within perioperative medicine. These findings should help prioritize research in this emerging field.
Hepatic portal venous gas (HPVG) is a rare but potentially lethal condition, especially when it results from intestinal ischemia. Since the literatures regarding the prognostic factors of HPVG are still scarce, we aimed to investigate the risk factor of perioperative mortality in this study.
We analyzed data for patients with intestinal ischemia induced HPVG by chart review in our hospital between 2000 and 2007. Factors associated with perioperative mortality were specifically analyzed.
There were 22 consecutive patients receiving definite bowel resection. 13 cases (59.1%) died after surgical intervention. When analyzing the mortality in patients after bowel resections, high Acute Physiology And Chronic health Evaluation (APACHE) II score (p < 0.01) and longer length of bowel resection (p = 0.047) were significantly associated with mortality in univariate analyses. The complication rate was 66.7% in alive patients after definite bowel resection.
Bowel resection was the only potential life-saving therapy for patients with mesenteric ischemia induced HPVG. High APACHE II score and severity of underlying necrotic bowel determined the results in patients after bowel resection.
The identification of additional prognostic markers to improve risk stratification and to avoid overtreatment is one of the most urgent clinical needs in prostate cancer (PCa). MicroRNAs, being important regulators of gene expression, are promising biomarkers in various cancer entities, though the impact as prognostic predictors in PCa is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify specific miRNAs as potential prognostic markers in high-risk PCa and to validate their clinical impact.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We performed miRNA-microarray analysis in a high-risk PCa study group selected by their clinical outcome (clinical progression free survival (CPFS) vs. clinical failure (CF)). We identified seven candidate miRNAs (let-7a/b/c, miR-515-3p/5p, -181b, -146b, and -361) that showed differential expression between both groups. Further qRT-PCR analysis revealed down-regulation of members of the let-7 family in the majority of a large, well-characterized high-risk PCa cohort (n = 98). Expression of let-7a/b/and -c was correlated to clinical outcome parameters of this group. While let-7a showed no association or correlation with clinical relevant data, let-7b and let-7c were associated with CF in PCa patients and functioned partially as independent prognostic marker. Validation of the data using an independent high-risk study cohort revealed that let-7b, but not let-7c, has impact as an independent prognostic marker for BCR and CF. Furthermore, we identified HMGA1, a non-histone protein, as a new target of let-7b and found correlation of let-7b down-regulation with HMGA1 over-expression in primary PCa samples.
Our findings define a distinct miRNA expression profile in PCa cases with early CF and identified let-7b as prognostic biomarker in high-risk PCa. This study highlights the importance of let-7b as tumor suppressor miRNA in high-risk PCa and presents a basis to improve individual therapy for high-risk PCa patients.
Around 30% of all stage II colon cancer patients will relapse and die of their disease. At present no objective parameters to identify high-risk stage II colon cancer patients, who will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, have been established. With traditional histopathological features definition of high-risk stage II colon cancer patients is inaccurate. Therefore more objective and robust markers for prediction of relapse are needed. DNA copy number aberrations have proven to be robust prognostic markers, but have not yet been investigated for this specific group of patients. The aim of the present study was to identify chromosomal aberrations that can predict relapse of tumor in patients with stage II colon cancer.
Materials and methods
DNA was isolated from 40 formaldehyde fixed paraffin embedded stage II colon cancer samples with extensive clinicopathological data. Samples were hybridized using Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) arrays to determine DNA copy number changes and microsatellite stability was determined by PCR. To analyze differences between stage II colon cancer patients with and without relapse of tumor a Wilcoxon rank-sum test was implemented with multiple testing correction.
Stage II colon cancers of patients who had relapse of disease showed significantly more losses on chromosomes 4, 5, 15q, 17q and 18q. In the microsatellite stable (MSS) subgroup (n = 28), only loss of chromosome 4q22.1-4q35.2 was significantly associated with disease relapse (P < 0.05, FDR < 0.15). No differences in clinicopathological characteristics between patients with and without relapse were observed.
In the present series of MSS stage II colon cancer patients losses on 4q22.1-4q35.2 were associated with worse outcome and these genomic alterations may aid in selecting patients for adjuvant therapy.
DNA copy number changes; Stage II; Colon cancer; Prognosis
Analyse risk factors and construct a predictive model for identification of patients at risk of early out-of-hospital mortality after coronary reoperations (RECABG).
505 patients, discharged from hospital after a RECABG (1987-1998), were studied by univariate and multivariate analysis. A stepwise selective procedure (p<0.05) was used to identify a subset of variables with prognostic value for early out-of-hospital mortality. This subset was used to calculate a prognostic score 'S' and a predicted probability 'p' for early out-of-hospital mortality, p=1/1+ e-s. Sensitivity analysis was used for evaluation.
The best predictive variables for early out-of-hospital mortality were diabetes (p=0.002), lung disease (p=0.05), emergency operation (p=0.0001) and a perioperative myocardial infarction (p=0.0001). Emergency operation (p=0.001) and antegrade/retrograde cardioplegia (p<0.0000) were independent predictors of a perioperative myocardial infarction. The prognostic accuracy (ROC area) was 86%. Patients were classified into low risk (5%), intermediate risk (15%), high risk (30%) and very high risk (≥40%). A predicted probability of ≥0.40 was used as cut-off point. The specificity of this test was 99%, sensitivity 33%, predictive value of a positive test 79%, and 95% for a negative test.
The results show that patients discharged from hospital after RECABG can be stratified according to their early out-of-hospital risk. A perioperative myocardial infarction is the major independent risk factor and can be affected by use of retrograde cardioplegia.
coronary reoperation; mortality; out-of-hospital; prediction
Life expectancy for humans has increased dramatically and with this there has been a considerable increase in the number of patients suffering from lumbar spine disease. Symptomatic lumbar spinal disease should be treated, even in the elderly, and surgical procedures such as fusion surgery are needed for moderate to severe lumbar spinal disease. However, various perioperative complications are associated with fusion surgery. The aim of this study was to examine perioperative complications and assess risk factors associated with lumbar spinal fusion, focusing on geriatric patients at least 70 years of age in the Republic of Korea.
We retrospectively investigated 489 patients with various lumbar spinal diseases who underwent lumbar spinal fusion surgery between 2003 and 2007 at our institution. Three fusion procedures and the number of fused segments were analyzed in this study. Chronic diseases were also evaluated. Risk factors for complications and their association with age were analyzed.
In this study, 74 patients experienced complications (15%). The rate of perioperative complications was significantly higher in patients 70 years of age or older than in other age groups (univariate analysis, p=0.001; multivariate analysis, p=0.004). However, perioperative complications were not significantly associated with the other factors tested (sex, comorbidities, operation procedures, fusion segments involved).
Increasing age was an important risk factor for perioperative complications in patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion surgery whereas other factors were not significant. We recommend good clinical judgment and careful selection of geriatric patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion surgery.
Complication; Elderly patients; Lumbar spinal fusion
To determine the strength of evidence underlying recommendations for use of statins during the perioperative period to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
Systematic review of studies with concurrent control groups.
Four electronic databases, the references of identified studies, international experts on perioperative medicine, and the authors of the primary studies.
Two reviewers independently extracted data from studies that reported acute coronary syndromes or mortality in patients receiving or not receiving statins during the perioperative period.
Main outcome measure
Random effects summary odds ratios for death or acute coronary syndrome during the perioperative period.
18 studies—two randomised trials (n=177), 15 cohort studies (n=799 632), and one case-control study (n=480)—assessed whether statins provide perioperative cardiovascular protection; 12 studies enrolled patients undergoing non-cardiac vascular surgery, four enrolled patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery, and two enrolled patients undergoing various surgical procedures. In the randomised trials the summary odds ratio for death or acute coronary syndrome during the perioperative period with statin use was 0.26 (95% confidence interval 0.07 to 0.99) and the summary odds ratio in the cohort studies was 0.70 (0.57 to 0.87). Although the pooled cohort data provided a statistically significant result, statins were not randomly allocated, results in retrospective studies were larger (odds ratio 0.65, 0.50 to 0.84) than those in the prospective cohorts (0.91, 0.65 to 1.27), and dose, duration, and safety of statin use was not reported.
The evidence base for routine administration of statins to reduce perioperative cardiovascular risk is inadequate.
Prolonged mechanical ventilation is an important recognized complication occurring during cardiovascular surgery procedures. This study was done to assess the perioperative risk factors related to postoperative pulmonary complications and tracheostomy in women undergoing coronary artery bypass graft with cardiopulmonary bypass.
It was a retrospective study on 5,497 patients, including 31 patients with prolonged ventilatory support and 5,466 patients without it; from the latter group, 350 patients with normal condition (extubated in 6-8 hours without any complication) were selected randomly. Possible perioperative risk factors were compared between the two groups using a binary logistic regression model.
Among the 5,497 women undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), 31 women needed prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV), and 15 underwent tracheostomy. After logistic regression, 7 factors were determined as being independent perioperative risk factors for PMV.
Age ≥70 years old, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤30%, preexisting respiratory or renal disease, emergency or re-do operation and use of preoperative inotropic agents are the main risk factors determined in this study on women undergoing CABG.
Coronary artery bypass graft; prolonged ventilatory support; tracheostomy
Stroke represents a major cause of disability among middle-aged and elderly people. Carotid artery stenosis is an important risk factor for stroke and is prevalent in elderly men with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and those who smoke or have atherosclerotic disease, or both. Patients who undergo neck dissection for head and neck cancer may have some or all of the above characteristics and may experience surgical manipulation of the carotid arteries. This combination of medical and surgical factors may predispose such patients to perioperative stroke. A critical review of the literature was completed to determine the incidence of stroke perioperatively in patients undergoing a neck dissection for head and neck cancer. We found 2 studies that quoted the risk of stroke to be between 3.2% and 4.8%. The implications of these results are significant because they suggest a need for preoperative screening (with Doppler ultrasonography) or intervention (with carotid endarterectomy), or both. However, the quality of these 2 studies is such that future research is first needed to define the rate of stroke in head and neck surgery.
Children with congenital heart defects are at risk for perioperative pulmonary hypertension if they require corrective or palliative surgery in the first week of life or if they have defects associated with significant pulmonary over circulation. In addition children undergoing cavopulmonary connections for single ventricle lesions require low pulmonary vascular resistance for surgical success. Treatment of perioperative pulmonary hypertension with inhaled nitric oxide has become standard therapy in many centers. Related drugs that increase nitric oxide synthesis including arginine and citrulline have also been studied in the perioperative period. In this article, previous clinical trials of inhaled nitric oxide, intravenous arginine, and intravenous and oral citrulline in children with perioperative pulmonary hypertension or elevated pulmonary vascular resistance after a cavopulmonary connection are reviewed. In addition, recommendations are presented for each agent on the clinical use in the perioperative setting including clinical indications, assessment of clinical effect, and length of therapy.
Pulmonary hypertension; congenital cardiac surgery; inhaled nitric oxide; arginine; citrulline
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) is commonly used as an ICBG substitute for transforaminal lumbar interbody spine fusion (TLIF). However, multiple recent reports have raised concerns regarding a substantial incidence of perioperative radiculopathy. Also, given the serious complications reported with anterior cervical BMP use, risks related to swelling and edema with TLIF need to be clarified. As TLIF related complications with rhBMP-2 have generally been reported in small series or isolated cases, without a clear denominator, actual complication rates are largely unknown. The purpose this study is to characterize perioperative complications and complication rates in a large consecutive series of TLIF procedures with rhBMP-2. We reviewed inpatient and outpatient medical records for a consecutive series of 204 patients [113 females, 91 males, mean age 49.3 (22–79) years] who underwent TLIF using rhBMP-2 between 2003 and 2007. Complications observed within a 3-month perioperative interval were categorized as to etiology and severity. Wound problems were delineated as wound infection, hematoma/seroma or persistent drainage/superficial dehiscence. Neurologic deficits and radiculopathies were analyzed to determine the presence of a clear etiology (screw misplacement) and identify any potential relationship to rhBMP-2 usage. Complications were observed in 47 of 204 patients (21.6%) during the 3-month perioperative period. Major complications occurred in 13 patients (6.4%) and minor complications in 34 patients (16.7%). New or more severe postoperative neurologic complaints were noted in 13 patients (6.4%), 6 of whom required additional surgery. These cases included one malpositioned pedicle screw and one epidural hematoma. In four patients (2.0%), localized seroma/hematoma in the area of the foramen caused neural compression, and required revision. In one additional patient, vertebral osteolysis caused foraminal narrowing and radiculopathy, but resolved without further surgery. Persistent radiculopathy without clear etiology on imaging studies was seen in six patients. Wound related problems were seen in six patients (2.9%), distributed as wound infection (3), hematoma/seroma (1) and persistent drainage/dehiscence (2). Overall, this study demonstrates a modest complication rate for TLIF using rhBMP-2. While perioperative complications which appeared specific to BMP usage were noted, they occurred infrequently. It will be necessary to weigh this incidence of complications against the complication rate associated with ICBG harvest and any differential benefit in obtaining a solid arthrodesis.
Bone graft substitute; Bone morphogenetic protein; Transforaminal interbody fusion; Morbidity; Spine fusion
To investigate the long-term outcome of patients with spinal cord infarct (SCI) and identify prognostic predictors.
We reviewed 115 patients with SCI treated between 1990 and 2007. Severity of impairment was defined using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) scoring. Functional outcome endpoints were ambulatory status, need for bladder catheterization, and pain.
Mean age was 64 years; 72 (62.6%) patients were men. A total of 45% of infarcts were perioperative (69% aortic surgeries). A total of 68% reached maximal deficit within 1 hour (mean = 5 hours). Impairment at nadir was ASIA A 23%, B 26%, C 14%, and D 37%. A total of 75/93 (81%) patients studied with MRI had cord signal abnormality. At nadir, 81% required wheelchair, 86% required catheterization, and 32% had pain. At last follow-up (mean = 3 years), 23% had died. Among survivors, 42% required a wheelchair, 54% required catheterization, and 29% had pain upon last follow-up. Of 74 patients using a wheelchair at hospital dismissal, 41% were walking by final follow-up. Of 83 patients catheterized at dismissal, 33% were catheter-free at last follow-up. Older age (p < 0.0001), increased severity of impairment at nadir (p = 0.02), and peripheral vascular disease (p = 0.003) were independent risk factors for mortality. Severe impairment (ASIA A/B) at nadir predicted wheelchair use (p < 0.0001) and bladder catheterization (p < 0.0001) at last follow-up.
Gradual improvement in not uncommon after spinal cord infarction and it may continue long after hospital dismissal. While severe impairment at nadir is the strongest predictor of poor functional outcome, meaningful recovery is also possible in a substantial minority of these patients.
Preoperative blood transfusions are used to improve graft survival in renal transplantation. If such an immunomodulating effect occurred in cancer surgery perioperative blood transfusion may be detrimental to patient outcome. A retrospective study of 68 patients undergoing potentially curative surgery for adenocarcinoma of the sigmoid colon, over a 10 year period was performed. Thirty-three patients (49%) had a perioperative blood transfusion of which two-thirds received either one or two units. Transfused patients had a poorer prognosis compared to non-transfused patients (0.28 and 0.53 five year product limit recurrence free fractions respectively; P less than 0.01 on generalised Savege test of entire recurrence free curves). Perioperative transfusion was the most sensitive prognostic indicator of recurrence on Cox proportional hazards regression analysis (relative risk 2.6; P less than 0.01, after adjustment for histological stage). Although a causal relationship is not proven, prospective work is urgently needed.
OBJECTIVE: To examine specifically the influence of estimated perioperative mortality and stroke rate on the assessment of appropriateness of carotid endarterectomy. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: An expert panel convened to rate the appropriateness of a variety of potential indications for carotid endarterectomy based on various rates of perioperative complications. We then applied these ratings to the charts of 1,160 randomly selected patients who had carotid endarterectomy in one of the 12 participating academic medical centers. STUDY DESIGN: An expert panel evaluated indications for carotid endarterectomy using the modified Delphi approach. Charts of patients who received surgery were abstracted, and clinical indications for the procedure as well as perioperative complications were recorded. To examine the impact of surgical risk assessment on the rates of appropriateness, three different definitions of risk strata for combined perioperative death or stroke were used: Definition A, low risk < 3 percent; Definition B, low risk < 5 percent; and Definition C, low risk < 7 percent. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Overall hospital-specific mortality ranged from 0 percent to 4.0 percent and major complications, defined as death, stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, or myocardial infarction, varied from 2.0 percent to 11.1 percent. Most patients (72 percent) had surgery for transient ischemic attack or stroke; 24 percent of patients were asymptomatic. Most patients (82 percent) had surgery on the side of a high-grade stenosis (70-99 percent). When the thresholds for operative risk were placed at the values defined by the expert panel (Definition A), only 33.5 percent of 1,160 procedures were classified as "appropriate." When the definition of low risk was shifted upward, the proportion of cases categorized as appropriate increased to 58 percent and 81.5 percent for Definitions B and C, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the high proportion of procedures performed for symptomatic patients with a high degree of ipsilateral extracranial carotid artery stenosis and generally low rates of surgical complications at the participating institutions, the overall rate of "appropriateness" using a perioperative complication rate of < 3 percent was low. However, the rate of "appropriateness" was extremely sensitive to judgments about a single clinical feature, surgical risk. These data show that before applying such "appropriateness" ratings, it is crucial to perform sensitivity analyses in order to assess the stability of the results. Results that are robust to moderate in variation in surgical risk provide a much sounder basis for policy making than those that are not.
Objective: To evaluate the discriminatory value and compare the predictive performance of six non-invasive tests used for perioperative cardiac risk stratification in patients undergoing major vascular surgery.
Design: Meta-analysis of published reports.
Methods: Eight studies on ambulatory electrocardiography, seven on exercise electrocardiography, eight on radionuclide ventriculography, 23 on myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, eight on dobutamine stress echocardiography, and four on dipyridamole stress echocardiography were selected, using a systematic review of published reports on preoperative non-invasive tests from the Medline database (January 1975 and April 2001). Random effects models were used to calculate weighted sensitivity and specificity from the published results. Summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve analysis was used to evaluate and compare the prognostic accuracy of each test. The relative diagnostic odds ratio was used to study the differences in diagnostic performance of the tests.
Results: In all, 8119 patients participated in the studies selected. Dobutamine stress echocardiography had the highest weighted sensitivity of 85% (95% confidence interval (CI) 74% to 97%) and a reasonable specificity of 70% (95% CI 62% to 79%) for predicting perioperative cardiac death and non-fatal myocardial infarction. On SROC analysis, there was a trend for dobutamine stress echocardiography to perform better than the other tests, but this only reached significance against myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (relative diagnostic odds ratio 5.5, 95% CI 2.0 to 14.9).
Conclusions: On meta-analysis of six non-invasive tests, dobutamine stress echocardiography showed a positive trend towards better diagnostic performance than the other tests, but this was only significant in the comparison with myocardial perfusion scintigraphy. However, dobutamine stress echocardiography may be the favoured test in situations where there is valvar or left ventricular dysfunction.
stress echocardiography; electrocardiography; myocardial perfusion scintigraphy; radionuclide ventriculography; risk assessment; major vascular surgery
The need for specialised forms of clinical audit was highlighted by the report of the Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Deaths (CEPOD). Necropsy rates in a Northern Ireland teaching hospital were studied with particular reference to perioperative deaths. To provide an overall context for these observations, the pattern of the necropsy services in Northern Ireland as a whole was also determined. For 600 consecutive deaths in a major teaching hospital, the overall necropsy rate was 180 (30%). In the 74 perioperative deaths in this group (as defined by the CEPOD) the necropsy rate was 26 (35%), compared with 16 out of 72 (22%) for other surgical deaths and 89 out of 386 (23%) for medical cases. More coroners' necropsies were carried out in the perioperative group. These figures are within the range of the CEPOD experience. In 1987, in the whole of Northern Ireland, there were 8859 hospital deaths, 520 (5.9%) hospital necropsies, and 516 (5.8%) coroners' necropsies, giving an overall necropsy rate of 11.7%. Outside the two major Belfast teaching hospitals, however, there were 6799 hospital deaths, 76.6% of all hospital deaths for Northern Ireland. In this group there were 180 (2.6%) hospital necropsies and 383 (5.6%) coroners' cases, the overall necropsy rate being only 8.2%. These wide variations reflect the fact that the number of pathologists in post in the peripheral areas of the province falls substantially short of levels recommended by the Royal College of Pathologists. If clinical audit along CEPOD lines is to be effective nationally, more emphasis should be placed on the value of necropsy and local deficiencies in provision will have to be identified and remedied. It is suggested that this could be achieved by combining audit provisions with budgetary incentives.
Neurological complications in orthotopic heart transplantation represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality despite successful transplantation. The most frequent perioperative neurological complications are delirium or encephalopathy. In this period cerebrovascular complication ranges between 5-11%. After the perioperative period, the 5-year stroke risk after cardiac transplantation is 4.1%. In a retrospective study conducted with 314 patients who underwent cardiac transplantation, it was found that 20% of cerebrovascular complications occurred within the first two weeks after transplantation, while 80% occurred in the late postoperative phase. Of these, ischemic stroke is the most common subtype.
In the perioperative periode, hemodynamic instability, cardiac arrest, extracorporeal circulation over 2 hours, prior history of stroke, and carotid stenosis greater than 50% have been reported to be risk factors for the occurrence of cerebrovascular complications. Perioperative cerebrovascular complications are associated with higher mortality and poor functional outcome at one year follow-up.
After the perioperative period, the only factor that has been significantly associated with an increased risk of cerebrovascular complications is a history of prior stroke, either ischemic or hemorrhagic. Other associated factors include unknown atrial fibrillation, septic emboli from endocarditis, cardiac catheterization and perioperative hemodynamic shock. According to the TOAST etiologic classification, the most prevalent etiologic subtype of ischemic stroke is undetermined cause.