Postoperative myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest following primary total knee and hip arthroplasty: rates, risk factors, and time of occurrence

Philip J Belmont, Gens P Goodman, Nicholas A Kusnezov, Charles Magee, Julia O Bader, Brian R Waterman, Andrew J Schoenfeld
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2014 December 17, 96 (24): 2025-31

BACKGROUND: Cardiac complications are a major cause of postoperative morbidity. The purpose of this study was to determine the rates, risk factors, and time of occurrence for cardiac complications within thirty days after primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty.

METHODS: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program data set from 2006 to 2011 was used to identify all total knee arthroplasties and total hip arthroplasties. Cardiac complications occurring within thirty days after surgery were the primary outcome measure. Patients were designated as having a history of cardiac disease if they had a new diagnosis or exacerbation of chronic congestive heart failure or a history of angina within thirty days before surgery, a history of myocardial infarction within six months, and/or any percutaneous cardiac intervention or other major cardiac surgery at any time. An analysis of the occurrence of all major cardiac complications and deaths within the thirty-day postoperative time frame was performed.

RESULTS: For the 46,322 patients managed with total knee arthroplasty or total hip arthroplasty, the cardiac complication rate was 0.33% (n = 153) at thirty days postoperatively. In both the total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty groups, an age of eighty years or more (odds ratios [ORs] = 27.95 and 3.72), hypertension requiring medication (ORs = 4.74 and 2.59), and a history of cardiac disease (ORs = 4.46 and 2.80) were the three most significant predictors for the development of postoperative cardiac complications. Of the patients with a cardiac complication, the time of occurrence was within seven days after surgery for 79% (129 of the 164 patients for whom the time of occurrence could be determined).

CONCLUSIONS: An age of eighty years or more, a history of cardiac disease, and hypertension requiring medication are significant risk factors for developing postoperative cardiac complications following primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty. Consideration should be given to a preoperative cardiology evaluation and co-management in the perioperative period for individuals with these risk factors.


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