Background: Aortic stiffness is an early marker of arteriosclerosis and associated with cardiovascular mortality. However, the impact of aortic stiffness on perioperative cardiovascular outcomes in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery is unknown.
Methods: The study population was composed of 660 consecutive adults aged 18 years and over (mean age = 65.3 ± 14 years) who underwent intermediate-risk (nonvascular), noncardiac surgery between January 2010 and February 2011. Nonemergency, non-day-case, open surgical procedures were enrolled. Aortic stiffness indices were calculated from the aortic diameters measured by echocardiography. Electrocardiography and cardiac biomarkers were evaluated 1 day before surgery, and on days 1, 3, and 7 after surgery.
Results: Eighty patients (12.1%) experienced perioperative cardiovascular events (PCE). Preoperative aortic distensibility (AD) (2 ± 1.3 vs. 2.9 ± 1.1 cm2/dyn/10(3), P < 0.001) and aortic strain (AS) (4.4 ± 2.4 vs. 6.4 ± 1.9, P < 0.001) of the patients with PCE were significantly lower than in patients without PCE. Univariate analysis showed a significant association between age, diabetes mellitus (DM), coronary artery disease, preoperative atrial fibrillation, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) status, Revised Cardiac Risk Index, left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF), AD, aortic strain, and in-hospital PCE. However, on multivariate logistic regression analysis, only AD (OR: 1.94, 95% CI: 1.1-3.4; P = 0.02), AS (OR: 0.45, 95% CI: 0.3-0.6; P < 0.001), DM (OR: 2.28, 95% CI: 1.08-4.82; P = 0.03), and LVEF (OR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.93-0.99; P = 0.03) remained as significant variables associated with PCE.
Conclusion: Impaired elastic properties of the aorta are associated with increased PCE rates in patients undergoing noncardiac, nonvascular surgery.