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June 12, 1972

Myocardial Infarction After General Anesthesia

JAMA. 1972;220(11):1451-1454. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200110031006

During 1967 and 1968, a total of 32,877 patients had general anesthesia at the Mayo Clinic; 422 had previous myocardial infarction. Of these 6.6% experienced another infarction during the first postoperative week. There was no relationship between incidence of postoperative reinfarction and type or duration of anesthesia. However, operations on the thorax and upper abdomen were followed by three times as many reinfarctions as operations at other sites. Patients who were operated on within three months of infarction had a 37% reinfarction rate. This rate decreased to 16% in patients at three to six months after infarction, and remained at 4% to 5% when infarction had occurred more than six months previously. A significantly higher number of myocardial infarctions occurred during the third postoperative day.