Background: Preoperative evaluation and perioperative management of cardiac disease in patients undergoing vascular surgery (VS) is important for patients and vascular surgeons. Recent evidence has emerged that has allowed us to develop contemporary paradigms for evaluating and managing coronary artery disease in VS patients perioperatively. Methods: The utility of stress testing, the role of preoperative coronary revascularization, the optimal use of β-blockers and statins, and the role of antiplatelet therapy in VS patients were reviewed in the literature. Results: The revised Lee cardiac risk index, based on the number of risk factors (high-risk surgery, ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, renal failure, hypertension, and age >75) quantitates cardiac risk. Stress testing is not predictive of myocardial ischemia/infarction (MI) or death and is only recommended in patients with unstable angina or an active arrhythmia. Stress testing for patients with 0 to 2 risk factors delays VS up to 3 weeks. In high-risk patients (≥3 risk factors), it helps to identify patients who may develop myocardial ischemia and would benefit from a 30-day period to optimize medical therapy before VS. Stress testing and coronary catheterization do not predict which coronary artery to revascularize to prevent MI or death. Revascularization does not decrease MI or death rates at 1 month or 6 years. Although β-blocker treatment decreases cardiac risk with VS, timing and dosage (titration) influence outcomes, improper usage may increase stroke and death rate, and not all VS patients should be taking these drugs. Patients with ≥1 risk factor should be considered to begin a low dose β-blocker 1 month before VS. Preoperative statin use sharply decreases MI, stroke, and death perioperatively and long-term postoperatively. Conclusion: Routine stress testing should not be performed before VS. The Lee index should be used to stratify risk in patients undergoing VS. Patients with ≥3 risk factors or active cardiac conditions should undergo stress testing, if VS can be delayed. All VS patients, except those with 0 risk factors, should be considered for a β-blocker (bisoprolol, 2.5-5 mg/d started 1 month before VS, titrated to a pulse <70 beats/min and a systolic blood pressure ≥120 mm Hg). Intermediate risk factors may not require aggressive heart rate control but simply maintenance on a low-dose β-blocker. Statins should be started (ideally 30 days) before all VS using long-acting formulations such as fluvastatin (80 mg/d) for patients unable to take oral medication. © 2010 Society for Vascular Surgery.
Bauer, S. M., Cayne, N. S., & Veith, F. J. (2010, January). New developments in the preoperative evaluation and perioperative management of coronary artery disease in patients undergoing vascular surgery. Journal of Vascular Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2009.08.087