The role of routine pre-operative bedside echocardiography in detecting aortic stenosis in patients with a hip fracture

Anaesthesia. 2012 Jan;67(1):51-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2011.06942.x. Epub 2011 Oct 24.


The prevalence and severity of aortic stenosis in unselected patients admitted with a hip fracture is unknown. Derriford Hospital operates a routine weekday, pre-operative, targeted bedside echocardiography examination on all patients admitted with a hip fracture. We carried out a prospective service evaluation for 13 months from October 2007 on all 501 admissions, of which 374 (75%) underwent pre-operative echocardiography. Of those patients investigated, 8 (2%) had severe, 24 (6%) moderate and 113 (30%) had mild aortic stenosis or aortic sclerosis. Eighty-seven of 278 (31%) patients with no murmur detected clinically on admission had aortic stenosis on echocardiography and of the 96 patients in whom a murmur was heard pre-operatively, 30 (31%) had a normal echocardiogram. Detection of a murmur does not necessarily reflect the presence of underling aortic valve disease. However, if a murmur is heard then the likelihood of the lesion's being moderate or severe aortic stenosis is increased (OR 8.5; 95% CI 3.8-19.5). Forty-four (12%) of our unselected patients with fractured femur had either moderate or severe aortic stenosis (with or without moderate or severe left ventricular failure), or mild stenosis with moderately or severely impaired left ventricular function.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / complications
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / epidemiology
  • Auscultation
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Murmurs / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Fractures / complications
  • Hip Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Prospective Studies
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology
  • Young Adult