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Update on perioperative care of the cardiac patient for noncardiac surgery

Ghadimi, Kamrouza,b; Thompson, Annemariea,b

Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: June 2015 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 342–348
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000193
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Purpose of review The current review will address key topics and recommendations of the recent 2014 update of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association clinical practice guideline for the perioperative cardiovascular evaluation and management of patients undergoing noncardiac surgery.

Recent findings The completely rewritten guideline provides a stepwise approach for the identification and management of patients at highest risk for major adverse cardiac events and discusses new or updated recommendations. For example, β-blockers should be continued perioperatively but treatment should not be initiated within 24 h of noncardiac surgery. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors should be continued, but if held, may be restarted as soon as feasible. Routine aspirin therapy is not recommended without previous coronary stent implantation or risk assessment for myocardial ischemia. Elective noncardiac surgery should not be performed within 30 days of bare metal stent or 12 months of drug-eluting stent implantation because of in-stent thrombosis as well as bleeding risk from dual antiplatelet therapy during surgery. Noncardiac surgery may be considered, however, in patients on antiplatelet agents 180 days after drug-eluting stent placement if risk of surgical delay exceeds risk of stent thrombosis from cessation of antiplatelet therapy.

Summary In conclusion, this review will discuss the important topics from the 2014 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline in order to provide the perioperative physician with the most recent evidence necessary to minimize major adverse cardiac events in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery.

aDivision of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

bCritical Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Annemarie Thompson, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Hospital, 2301 Erwin Road, HAFS 5684B, Durham, NC 27710, USA. E-mail:

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