Describing Clinically Significant Arrhythmias in Postoperative Vascular Surgery Patients

Academic Article


  • Background: The American Heart Association guidelines instruct use of postoperative telemetry (POT) should be reserved for patients undergoing cardiac procedures and/or those with ischemic cardiac symptoms, but acknowledge that major vascular procedures deserve unique consideration. Telemetry remains a limited resource in many hospitals; however, it has been poorly defined which vascular patients have greatest need for POT. The purpose of this study is to define the rates of postoperative arrhythmias (POAs) after major vascular operations using the Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) registry, identify independent predictors of POA, and determine the effect of POA on mortality to guide the use of POT in vascular patients. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using the following VQI modules: open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (oAAA), complex endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) (thoracic endovascular aortic repair [TEVAR]/c-EVAR), EVAR, suprainguinal bypass (SIB), and infrainguinal bypass (IIB). POA was defined in the VQI as a new rhythm disturbance requiring treatment with medication or cardioversion. The incidence of POA, preoperative risk factors, and demographics were determined for each procedure. Results: A total of 121,652 procedures were identified with an overall POA event rate of 5.1% (n = 6,265). Procedure-specific event rates for POA among VQI registries are as follows: oAAA 14.4%, TEVAR/c-EVAR 8.5%, EVAR 2.7%, SIB 6.2%, and IIB 3.8%. Across all procedure types, POA was associated with emergent operations and increased procedure time. Procedure-specific multivariable regression revealed additional independent preoperative intraoperative factors associated with POA that were unique with each procedure. Across all procedural groups, the presence of POA was associated with increased rates of clinical myocardial infarction and decreased survival on Kaplan-Meier analysis. Conclusions: Rates of POA in patients undergoing vascular procedures appear higher than previously reported, and POA is associated with decreased survival. Our study elucidated patient- and procedure-specific predictor factors associated with POA that can be used to inform the use of POT.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Axley J; Blakeslee-Carter J; Novak Z; McFarland G; Spangler EL; Pearce BJ; Patterson MA; Passman MA; Sutzko DC; Beck AW
  • Start Page

  • 68
  • End Page

  • 77
  • Volume

  • 73