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JAMA Clinical Guidelines Synopsis
August 8, 2017

Routine Preoperative Laboratory Tests for Elective Surgery

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Hospital Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Section of General Internal Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2017;318(6):567-568. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7508

Preoperative evaluation, often including laboratory testing, is used to assess a patient’s risk for perioperative adverse events, characterize the current status of systemic disease, and identify any unrecognized risk factors or disease that may increase risk of complications. Preoperative testing may lead to significant harms and costs, particularly when false-positive or incidental findings are uncovered.1 Testing often does not significantly change management in relatively healthy patients.2 There is significant variability in clinical practice regarding “routine” preoperative testing for elective surgery in healthy and comorbid populations. This guideline addresses the use of selected and specific common laboratory tests for nonpregnant adults undergoing elective surgery (excluding cardiothoracic surgery or neurosurgery).