Preoperative Cardiac Risk Assessment

Mayo Clin Proc. 2020 May;95(5):1064-1079. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.08.013. Epub 2020 Feb 24.


Major adverse cardiac events are common causes of perioperative mortality and major morbidity. Preventing these complications requires thorough preoperative risk assessment and postoperative monitoring of at-risk patients. Major guidelines recommend assessment based on a validated risk calculator that incorporates patient- and procedure-specific factors. American and European guidelines define when stress testing is needed on the basis of functional capacity assessment. Favoring cost-effectiveness, Canadian guidelines instead recommend obtaining brain natriuretic peptide or N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide levels to guide postoperative screening for myocardial injury or infarction. When conditions such as acute coronary syndrome, severe pulmonary hypertension, and decompensated heart failure are identified, nonemergent surgery should be postponed until the condition is appropriately managed. There is an evolving role of biomarkers and myocardial injury after noncardiac surgery to enhance risk stratification, but the effect of interventions guided by these strategies is unclear.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Risk Assessment / standards*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*