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December 19, 2001

Does Right Heart Catheterization Prevent Perioperative Complications?

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

JAMA. 2001;286(23):2940-2941. doi:10.1001/jama.286.23.2940

To the Editor: Dr Polanczyk and colleagues reported that RHC did not reduce complication rates in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. In this case-control study, the authors matched patients by using a propensity score for RHC and type of procedure. Even though the patients seem to be matched, we question the authors' method. In contrast to a randomization procedure that balances groups for all known and unknown confounding factors, matching groups by using a propensity score takes into account only selected factors, which is illustrated by the large disparity in the duration of surgical procedures (5 hours in RHC patients vs 3.9 hours in non-RHC patients, P<.001), despite similar propensity scoring.

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