Pilot Findings of Pharmacogenomics in Perioperative Care: Initial Results From the First Phase of the ImPreSS Trial

Anesth Analg. 2022 Nov 1;135(5):929-940. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005951. Epub 2022 Feb 25.


Background: Pharmacogenomics, which offers a potential means by which to inform prescribing and avoid adverse drug reactions, has gained increasing consideration in other medical settings but has not been broadly evaluated during perioperative care.

Methods: The Implementation of Pharmacogenomic Decision Support in Surgery (ImPreSS) Trial is a prospective, single-center study consisting of a prerandomization pilot and a subsequent randomized phase. We describe findings from the pilot period. Patients planning elective surgeries were genotyped with pharmacogenomic results, and decision support was made available to anesthesia providers in advance of surgery. Pharmacogenomic result access and prescribing records were analyzed. Surveys (Likert-scale) were administered to providers to understand utilization barriers.

Results: Of eligible anesthesiology providers, 166 of 211 (79%) enrolled. A total of 71 patients underwent genotyping and surgery (median, 62 years; 55% female; average American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score, 2.6; 58 inpatients and 13 ambulatories). No patients required postoperative intensive care or pain consultations. At least 1 provider accessed pharmacogenomic results before or during 41 of 71 surgeries (58%). Faculty were more likely to access results (78%) compared to house staff (41%; P = .003) and midlevel practitioners (15%) ( P < .0001). Notably, all administered intraoperative medications had favorable genomic results with the exception of succinylcholine administration to 1 patient with genomically increased risk for prolonged apnea (without adverse outcome). Considering composite prescribing in preoperative, recovery, throughout hospitalization, and at discharge, each patient was prescribed a median of 35 (range 15-83) total medications, 7 (range 1-22) of which had annotated pharmacogenomic results. Of 2371 prescribing events, 5 genomically high-risk medications were administered (all tramadol or omeprazole; with 2 of 5 pharmacogenomic results accessed), and 100 genomically cautionary mediations were administered (hydralazine, oxycodone, and pantoprazole; 61% rate of accessing results). Providers reported that although results were generally easy to access and understand, the most common reason for not considering results was because remembering to access pharmacogenomic information was not yet a part of their normal clinical workflow.

Conclusions: Our pilot data for result access rates suggest interest in pharmacogenomics by anesthesia providers, even if opportunities to alter prescribing in response to high-risk genotypes were infrequent. This pilot phase has also uncovered unique considerations for implementing pharmacogenomic information in the perioperative care setting, and new strategies including adding the involvement of surgery teams, targeting patients likely to need intensive care and dedicated pain care, and embedding pharmacists within rounding models will be incorporated in the follow-on randomized phase to increase engagement and likelihood of affecting prescribing decisions and clinical outcomes.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03729180.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydralazine
  • Male
  • Omeprazole
  • Oxycodone
  • Pain
  • Pantoprazole
  • Perioperative Care
  • Pharmacogenetics* / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Succinylcholine
  • Tramadol*


  • Oxycodone
  • Pantoprazole
  • Tramadol
  • Succinylcholine
  • Hydralazine
  • Omeprazole

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03729180