Several single-center studies and meta-analyses have shown that perioperative goal-directed therapy may significantly improve outcomes in general surgical patients. We hypothesized that using a treatment algorithm based on pulse pressure variation, cardiac index trending by radial artery pulse contour analysis, and mean arterial pressure in a study group (SG), would result in reduced complications, reduced length of hospital stay and quicker return of bowel movement postoperatively in abdominal surgical patients, when compared to a control group (CG).
160 patients undergoing elective major abdominal surgery were randomized to the SG (79 patients) or to the CG (81 patients). In the SG hemodynamic therapy was guided by pulse pressure variation, cardiac index trending and mean arterial pressure. In the CG hemodynamic therapy was performed at the discretion of the treating anesthesiologist. Outcome data were recorded up to 28 days postoperatively.
The total number of complications was significantly lower in the SG (72 vs. 52 complications, p = 0.038). In particular, infection complications were significantly reduced (SG: 13 vs. CG: 26 complications, p = 0.023). There were no significant differences between the two groups for return of bowel movement (SG: 3 vs. CG: 2 days postoperatively, p = 0.316), duration of post anesthesia care unit stay (SG: 180 vs. CG: 180 minutes, p = 0.516) or length of hospital stay (SG: 11 vs. CG: 10 days, p = 0.929).
This multi-center study demonstrates that hemodynamic goal-directed therapy using pulse pressure variation, cardiac index trending and mean arterial pressure as the key parameters leads to a decrease in postoperative complications in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.