Perioperative management of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers: a survey of perioperative medicine practitioners

PeerJ. 2018 Jun 29:6:e5061. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5061. eCollection 2018.


Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) are the most commonly prescribed antihypertensive medications in higher-risk surgical patients. However, there is no clinical consensus on their use in the perioperative period, in part, due to an inconsistent evidence-base. To help inform the design of a large multi-centre randomized controlled trial (ISRCTN17251494), we undertook a questionnaire-based survey exploring variability in ACEi/ARB prescribing in perioperative practice.

Methods: The online survey included perioperative scenarios to examine how consistent respondents were with their stated routine preoperative practice. Clinicians with an academic interest in perioperative medicine were primarily targeted between July and September 2017. STROBE guidelines for observational research and ANZCA Trials Group Survey Reporting recommendations were adhered to.

Results: 194 responses were received, primarily from clinicians practicing in the UK. A similar minority of respondents continue ACEi (n = 57; 30%) and ARBs (n = 62; 32%) throughout the perioperative period. However, timing of preoperative cessation was highly variable, and rarely influenced by the pharmacokinetics of individual ACE-i/ARBs. Respondents' stated routine practice was frequently misaligned with their management of common pre- and postoperative scenarios involving continuation or restarting ACE-i/ARBs.

Discussion: This survey highlights many inconsistencies amongst clinicians' practice in perioperative ACE-i/ARB management. Studies designed to reveal an enhanced understanding of perioperative mechanisms at play, coupled with randomised controlled trials, are required to rationally inform the clinical management of ACE-i/ARBs in patients most at risk of postoperative morbidity.

Keywords: Anaesthesia; Anesthesiology; Angiotensin-II; Hypotension; Myocardial injury; Noncardiac surgery; Survey.