Perioperative anesthesiological management of patients with pulmonary hypertension

Anesthesiol Res Pract. 2012;2012:356982. doi: 10.1155/2012/356982. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

Abstract

Pulmonary hypertension is a major reason for elevated perioperative morbidity and mortality, even in noncardiac surgical procedures. Patients should be thoroughly prepared for the intervention and allowed plenty of time for consideration. All specialty units involved in treatment should play a role in these preparations. After selecting each of the suitable individual anesthetic and surgical procedures, intraoperative management should focus on avoiding all circumstances that could contribute to exacerbating pulmonary hypertension (hypoxemia, hypercapnia, acidosis, hypothermia, hypervolemia, and insufficient anesthesia and analgesia). Due to possible induction of hypotonic blood circulation, intravenous vasodilators (milrinone, dobutamine, prostacyclin, Na-nitroprusside, and nitroglycerine) should be administered with the greatest care. A method of treating elevations in pulmonary pressure with selective pulmonary vasodilation by inhalation should be available intraoperatively (iloprost, nitrogen monoxide, prostacyclin, and milrinone) in addition to invasive hemodynamic monitoring. During the postoperative phase, patients must be monitored continuously and receive sufficient analgesic therapy over an adequate period of time. All in all, perioperative management of patients with pulmonary hypertension presents an interdisciplinary challenge that requires the adequate involvement of anesthetists, surgeons, pulmonologists, and cardiologists alike.