Volatile anesthetics provide myocardial preconditioning in coronary surgery patients. We hypothesized that sevoflurane compared with propofol reduces the incidence of myocardial ischemia in patients undergoing major noncardiac surgery.
Methods and results:
We enrolled 385 patients at cardiovascular risk in 3 centers. Patients were randomized to maintenance of anesthesia with sevoflurane or propofol. We recorded continuous ECG for 48 hours perioperatively, measured troponin T and N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) on postoperative days 1 and 2, and evaluated postoperative delirium by the Confusion Assessment Method. At 6 and 12 months, we contacted patients by telephone to assess major adverse cardiac events. The primary end point was a composite of myocardial ischemia detected by continuous ECG and/or troponin elevation. Additional end points were postoperative NT-proBNP concentrations, major adverse cardiac events, and delirium. Patients and outcome assessors were blinded. We tested dichotomous end points by χ(2) test and NT-proBNP by Mann-Whitney test on an intention-to-treat basis. Myocardial ischemia occurred in 75 patients (40.8%) in the sevoflurane and 81 (40.3%) in the propofol group (relative risk, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.78-1.30). NT-proBNP release did not differ across allocation on postoperative day 1 or 2. Within 12 months, 14 patients (7.6%) suffered a major adverse cardiac event after sevoflurane and 17 (8.5%) after propofol (relative risk, 0.90; 95% confidence interval, 0.44-1.83). The incidence of delirium did not differ (11.4% versus 14.4%; P=0.379).
Compared with propofol, sevoflurane did not reduce the incidence of myocardial ischemia in high-risk patients undergoing major noncardiac surgery. The sevoflurane and propofol groups did not differ in postoperative NT-proBNP release, major adverse cardiac events at 1 year, or delirium.
"One study detected perioperative myocardial ischaemia in 40.5 % of patients. However, major adverse cardiac events occurred in only 8 % . A large study in patients with atherosclerosis or at risk for it undergoing non-cardiac surgery found myocardial infarction in 5 % and troponin release in 8 % of patients . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Interruption of antithrombotic treatment before surgery may prevent bleeding, but at the price of increasing cardiovascular complications. This prospective study analysed the impact of antithrombotic therapy interruption on outcomes in non-selected surgical patients with known cardiovascular disease (CVD).
All 1200 consecutive patients (age 74.2 ± 10.2 years) undergoing major non-cardiac surgery (37.4 % acute, 61.4 % elective) during a period of 2.5 years while having at least one CVD were enrolled. Details on medication, bleeding, cardiovascular complications and cause of death were registered.
In-hospital mortality was 3.9 % (versus 0.9 % mortality among 17,740 patients without CVD). Cardiovascular complications occurred in 91 (7.6 %) patients (with 37.4 % case fatality). Perioperative bleeding occurred in 160 (13.3 %) patients and was fatal in 2 (1.2 % case fatality). Multivariate analysis revealed age, preoperative anaemia, history of chronic heart failure, acute surgery and general anaesthesia predictive of cardiovascular complications. For bleeding complications multivariate analysis found warfarin use in the last 3 days, history of hypertension and general anaesthesia as independent predictive factors. Aspirin interruption before surgery was not predictive for either cardiovascular or for bleeding complications.
Perioperative cardiovascular complications in these high-risk elderly all-comer surgical patients with known cardiovascular disease are relatively rare, but once they occur, the case fatality is high. Perioperative bleeding complications are more frequent, but their case fatality is extremely low. Patterns of interruption of chronic aspirin therapy before major non-cardiac surgery are not predictive for perioperative complications (neither cardiovascular, nor bleeding). Simple baseline clinical factors are better predictors of outcomes than antithrombotic drug interruption patterns.
"Although a meta-analysis  has suggested that volatile anesthetics are cardioprotective, a string of recent randomized trials has failed to demonstrate any reduction of perioperative myocardial risk both in cardiac and non-cardiac surgery [57,58,59,60]. These trials have all been single-center investigations and thus may have failed to detect an outcome effect from exposure to volatile anesthesia due to inadequate power. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The past year has witnessed major advances in of cardiovascular anesthesia and intensive care. Perioperative interventions such as anesthetic design, inotrope choice, glycemic therapy, blood management, and noninvasive ventilation have significant potential to enhance perioperative outcomes even further.
The major theme for 2011 is the international consensus conference that focused on ancillary interventions likely to reduce mortality in cardiac anesthesia and intensive care. This landmark conference prioritized volatile anesthetics, levosimendan, and insulin therapy for their promising life-saving perioperative potential. Although extensive evidence has demonstrated the cardioprotective effects of volatile anesthetics, levosimendan as well as glucose, insulin and potassium therapy, the clinical relevance of these beneficial effects remains to be fully elucidated. Furthermore, controversy still persists about how tight perioperative glucose control should be in adult cardiac surgery because of the risk of hypoglycemia.
A second major theme in 2011 has been perioperative hemostasis with the release of multispecialty guidelines. Furthermore, hemostatic agents such as recombinant factor VIIa and tranexamic acid have been studied intensively, even in the setting of major non-cardiac surgery. This review then highlights the remaining two major themes for 2011, namely the expanding role of noninvasive ventilation in our specialty and the formation of the Roland Hetzer International Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery Society.
In conclusion, it is time for large adequately powered multicenter trials to test whether prioritized perioperative interventions truly reduce mortality and morbidity in cardiac surgical patients. This essential paradigm shift represents a major clinical opportunity for the global cardiovascular anesthesia and critical care community.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The question of what is the ideal anesthetic for patients with cardiovascular disease has been debated for nearly three decades, and similarly to the case for the use of perioperative beta blockers, the answer appears to be increasingly enigmatic. In the current issue of the Journal, Buse et al(1) report the results of a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of the volatile anesthetic sevoflurane versus the intravenous anesthetic propofol on the incidence of myocardial ischemia in 385 patients with known coronary artery disease or with two or more risk factors for coronary artery disease undergoing non-cardiac surgery. Using continuous electrocardiography and troponin T plasma concentrations as the composite primary endpoint of the study, the incidence of myocardial ischemia was similar in both groups (sevoflurane: 40.8%; propofol: 40.3%); calling into question the current American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines recommending the use of volatile anesthetics for patients at cardiovascular risk who are undergoing non-cardiac surgery(2).
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