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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Guarracino F. 1, Baldassarri R. 1, Priebe H. J. 2
1 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy;
2 Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
Each year, an increasing number of elderly patients with cardiovascular disease undergoing non-cardiac surgery require careful perioperative management to minimize the perioperative risk. Perioperative cardiovascular complications are the strongest predictors of morbidity and mortality after major non-cardiac surgery. A Joint Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA) has recently published revised Guidelines on the perioperative cardiovascular management of patients scheduled to undergo non-cardiac surgery, which represent the official position of the ESC and ESA on various aspects of perioperative cardiac care. According to the Guidelines effective perioperative cardiac management includes preoperative risk stratification based on preoperative assessment of functional capacity, type of surgery, cardiac risk factors, and cardiovascular function. The ESC/ESA Guidelines discourage indiscriminate routine preoperative cardiac testing, because it is time- and cost-consuming, resource-limiting, and does not improve perioperative outcome. They rather emphasize the importance of individualized preoperative cardiac evaluation and the cooperation between anesthesiologists and cardiologists. We summarize the relevant changes of the 2014 Guidelines as compared to the previous ones, with particular emphasis on preoperative cardiac testing.