Despite consensus guidelines, the optimal strategy for preoperative cardiac risk management among patients scheduled for major noncardiac surgery remains controversial. This study assesses current opinion about the role of preoperative coronary revascularization for patients with coronary artery disease scheduled for elective vascular surgery. Thirty-one practicing cardiologists recruited from 4 different regions reviewed case records, imaging tests, and coronary angiograms of 12 patients with coronary artery disease participating in the Coronary Artery Revascularization Prophylaxis (CARP) trial. The need for preoperative coronary revascularization was determined and results summarized using 3 categories: favoring conservative management, neutral, or recommending revascularization (either by percutaneous intervention or bypass surgery). We found recommendations were frequently disparate and often deviated from published guidelines (40% of the time). The likelihood of discordance between 2 cardiologists was 54%, with a 26% chance that recommendations for revascularization would be directly contradictory. Opinions were more often conservative (43%) or aggressive (40%) than neutral (17%). Similar inconsistency was found as to the preferred method of revascularization, with only 1 patient having complete agreement. Thus, this study reveals substantial differences of opinion among cardiologists across the country about the role of preoperative coronary artery revascularization for patients scheduled for elective vascular operations. Deviations from published guidelines are common, suggesting that current consensus statements need additional data to support their recommendations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine