Background: Although deviations in intraoperative blood pressure are assumed to be associated with postoperative mortality, critical blood pressure thresholds remain undefined. Therefore, the authors estimated the intraoperative thresholds of systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean blood pressure (MAP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) associated with increased risk-adjusted 30-day mortality.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study combined intraoperative blood pressure data from six Veterans Affairs medical centers with 30-day outcomes to determine the risk-adjusted associations between intraoperative blood pressure and 30-day mortality. Deviations in blood pressure were assessed using three methods: (1) population thresholds (individual patient sum of area under threshold [AUT] or area over threshold 2 SDs from the mean of the population intraoperative blood pressure values), (2). absolute thresholds, and (3) percent change from baseline blood pressure.
Results: Thirty-day mortality was associated with (1) population threshold: systolic AUT (odds ratio, 3.3; 95% CI, 2.2 to 4.8), mean AUT (2.8; 1.9 to 4.3), and diastolic AUT (2.4; 1.6 to 3.8). Approximate conversions of AUT into its separate components of pressure and time were SBP < 67 mmHg for more than 8.2 min, MAP < 49 mmHg for more than 3.9 min, DBP < 33 mmHg for more than 4.4 min. (2) Absolute threshold: SBP < 70 mmHg for more than or equal to 5 min (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.7 to 4.9), MAP < 49 mmHg for more than or equal to 5 min (2.4; 1.3 to 4.6), and DBP < 30 mmHg for more than or equal to 5 min (3.2; 1.8 to 5.5). (3) Percent change: MAP decreases to more than 50% from baseline for more than or equal to 5 min (2.7; 1.5 to 5.0). Intraoperative hypertension was not associated with 30-day mortality with any of these techniques.
Conclusion: Intraoperative hypotension, but not hypertension, is associated with increased 30-day operative mortality.