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November 21, 1966

Myocardial Stress Studies: From Anesthesia To ECGs

JAMA. 1966;198(8):48. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110210022011

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Myocardial stress imposed by anesthesia and surgery does not appear great, the American Society of Anesthesiologists was told.

A study of 142 patients, many with cardiovascular disease, who underwent 144 carotid or abdominal aortic operations at Baylor University College of Medicine showed that most withstood the stress with no demonstrable effect on the heart, Philip H. Sechzer, MD, reported.

On the other hand, Dr. Sechzer said, the same study indicated that such factors as blood enzyme tests and electrocardiogram are of doubtful value in seeking to predict the surgical outlook for the cardiovascular disease patient.

Studies by other investigators have found ECG and tests for rising or changing blood enzyme titer useful only in acute cardiovascular disease situations, and not in those which occurred more than three months previously. Functional tests, such as exercise tolerance, have been used for patients with myocardial infarcts and other problems which occurred more than