Background: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is a multimodal perioperative care pathway designed to achieve early recovery by preserving preoperative organ function and minimizing the stress response following surgery. Few studies have assessed the association between ERAS and postoperative cardiac complications. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of ERAS on postoperative cardiac complications.
Materials and methods: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of colorectal patients who underwent surgery at a tertiary colorectal cancer referral center was carried out. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors including demographics, comorbidities, medications, and fluid administration were recorded. The primary outcome was postoperative cardiac arrhythmia, and secondary outcomes included other postoperative complications.
Results: A total of 800 patients who underwent elective colorectal surgery were identified. Four hundred seventeen patients (52%) were in the control group and 383 patients (48%) were in the ERAS group. Patients in both groups were similar with regard to demographics and clinical characteristics. There were significantly higher rates of cardiac arrhythmia in the control group (5.3%) compared with the ERAS group (1.8%), p = 0.009. Multivariable analysis revealed that ERAS was an independent predictor of decreased postoperative cardiac arrhythmia (OR 0.30, 95%CI 0.17-0.55, p < 0.001) while older age was an independent predictor of increased postoperative cardiac arrhythmia (OR 1.08, 95%CI 1.02-1.13, p = 0.008). Patients receiving lower amounts of intravenous fluids had significantly decreased postoperative cardiac arrhythmia (OR = 0.25, 95%CI 0.09-0.67, p = 0.006).
Conclusions: ERAS and goal-directed fluid therapy are associated with significant reductions in postoperative cardiac arrhythmias.
Keywords: Arrhythmia; Colorectal surgery; ERAS.