Objectives: To assess the clinical course of patients who have undergone coronary stent placement less than six weeks before noncardiac surgery.
Background: Surgical and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty revascularization performed before high-risk noncardiac surgery is expected to reduce perioperative cardiac morbidity and mortality. Perioperative and postoperative complications in patients who have undergone coronary stenting before a noncardiac surgery have not been studied.
Methods: Forty patients who underwent coronary stent placement less than six weeks before noncardiac surgery requiring a general anesthesia were included in the study (1-39 days, average: 13 days). The records were screened for the occurrence of adverse clinical events, including myocardial infarction, stent thrombosis, peri- and postoperative bleeding and death.
Results: In 40 consecutive patients meeting the study criteria, there were seven myocardial infarctions (MIs), 11 major bleeding episodes and eight deaths. All deaths and MIs, as well as 8/11 bleeding episodes, occurred in patients subjected to surgery fewer than 14 days from stenting. Four patients expired after undergoing surgery one day after stenting. Based on electrocardiogram, enzymatic and angiographic evidence, stent thrombosis accounted for most of the fatal events. The time between stenting and surgery appeared to be the main determinant of outcome.
Conclusions: Postponing elective noncardiac surgery for two to four weeks after coronary stenting should permit completion of the mandatory antiplatelet regimen, thereby reducing the risk of stent thrombosis and bleeding complications.