Long-term outcomes of perioperative myocardial infarction/injury after non-cardiac surgery

Eur Heart J. 2023 Jan 27;ehac798. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac798. Online ahead of print.


Aims: Perioperative myocardial infarction/injury (PMI) following non-cardiac surgery is a frequent cardiac complication. Better understanding of the underlying aetiologies and outcomes is urgently needed.

Methods and results: Aetiologies of PMIs detected within an active surveillance and response programme were centrally adjudicated by two independent physicians based on all information obtained during clinically indicated PMI work-up including cardiac imaging among consecutive high-risk patients undergoing major non-cardiac surgery in a prospective multicentre study. PMI aetiologies were hierarchically classified into 'extra-cardiac' if caused by a primarily extra-cardiac disease such as severe sepsis or pulmonary embolism; and 'cardiac', further subtyped into type 1 myocardial infarction (T1MI), tachyarrhythmia, acute heart failure (AHF), or likely type 2 myocardial infarction (lT2MI). Major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) including acute myocardial infarction, AHF (both only from day 3 to avoid inclusion bias), life-threatening arrhythmia, and cardiovascular death as well as all-cause death were assessed during 1-year follow-up. Among 7754 patients (age 45-98 years, 45% women), PMI occurred in 1016 (13.1%). At least one MACE occurred in 684/7754 patients (8.8%) and 818/7754 patients died (10.5%) within 1 year. Outcomes differed starkly according to aetiology: in patients with extra-cardiac PMI, T1MI, tachyarrhythmia, AHF, and lT2MI 51%, 41%, 57%, 64%, and 25% had MACE, and 38%, 27%, 40%, 49%, and 17% patients died within 1 year, respectively, compared to 7% and 9% in patients without PMI. These associations persisted in multivariable analysis.

Conclusion: At 1 year, most PMI aetiologies have unacceptably high rates of MACE and all-cause death, highlighting the urgent need for more intensive treatments.

Study registration: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02573532.

Keywords: Major cardiac events; Myocardial injury; Non-cardiac surgery; Perioperative care; Risk factors; Risk prediction.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02573532