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Perioperative Implications of the 2020 American Heart Association Scientific Statement on Drug-Induced Arrhythmias-A Focused Review.

The recently released American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement on drug-induced arrhythmias discussed medications commonly associated with bradycardia, supraventricular tachycardias, and ventricular arrhythmias. The foundational data for this statement were collected from general outpatient and inpatient populations. Patients undergoing surgical and minimally invasive treatments are a unique subgroup, because they may experience hemodynamic changes associated with anesthesia and their procedure, receive multiple drug combinations not given in either inpatient or outpatient settings, or experience postprocedural inflammatory syndromes. Accordingly, the generalizability of the AHA scientific statement to this perioperative population is unclear. This focused review highlights important aspects of the new AHA scientific statement and their application to the perioperative setting. The authors review medications frequently encountered and given by anesthesiologists and their risk of drug-induced arrhythmias and discuss common anesthetic and adjunctive medications and their associated risks of bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, torsades de pointes, and drug-induced Brugada syndrome. In many instances, the risk of arrhythmia reported by the AHA scientific statement in the general population appeared to be higher than found in perioperative arenas. Furthermore, the authors discuss the arrhythmia risk of additional medications commonly ordered or administered by anesthesiologists that are not included in the AHA scientific statement. As patient and procedural complexity increases and novel anesthetic combinations propagate, further research and observational studies will be required to delineate further perioperative risks for drug-induced arrhythmia.

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