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December 1977

Assessment of Cardiac Risk in Surgical Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical, Medical, and Nursing Services, Veterans Administration Hospital, Buffalo, and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1977;112(12):1488-1492. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1977.01370120078009

• Fifty patients admitted to the hospital for elective noncardiac surgery were carefully assessed for cardiac risk by exercise stress testing. Twenty-five of 38 (66%) patients with adequate testing had abnormal stress test results. Patients with symptoms of angina had a high incidence of abnormal stress test results (15 of 20). In the majority of these patients, the exercise stress test was true-positive, so that on angiography, severe coronary artery disease was present. In patients with no cardiac symptoms, 33% (ten of 30) had abnormal stress test results and seven patients had significant coronary artery disease. Our preliminary data indicate that exercise stress testing is a good noninvasive screening test to detect asymptomatic coronary artery disease. Those patients who have an abnormal stress test or an abnormal ECG or angina should undergo coronary angiography to determine extent of coronary disease.

(Arch Surg 112:1488-1492, 1977)