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Special Communication
Less Is More
May 2015

Perioperative Cardiovascular Care for Patients Undergoing Noncardiac Surgical Intervention

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, Ann Arbor
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(5):835-839. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0150

The field of perioperative medicine has garnered legitimacy during the past 3 decades. Adverse cardiovascular events in the perioperative period account for significant morbidity and mortality. Although testing patients preoperatively to detect ischemia and identify those who may benefit from modifications in care is a tempting strategy, risk assessment should account for posterior probability. Validated risk stratification tools, such as the Revised Cardiac Risk Index or the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program risk calculator, can assist in the identification of patients for whom preoperative noninvasive testing is justified and may change the plan of care. Furthermore, current guidelines emphasize that prophylactic coronary revascularization should not be performed exclusively for the purposes of reducing the risk of perioperative events. There has been enthusiasm for medical therapies that may reduce the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in the perioperative period. Current guidelines encourage the perioperative use of β-blockade in patients already receiving such therapy and caution against initiating such therapy on the day of the surgical procedure. Reduction of morbidity and mortality in the perioperative period relies on an understanding of the myriad physiological perturbations in this period and thoughtful selection of patients for further testing and treatment.

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