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Myocardial infarction in major noncardiac surgery: Epidemiology, pathophysiology and prevention

Heart International 2006;2(2):82-93


The number of subjects undergoing major noncardiac surgery who are at risk for perioperative myocardial infarction (MI) is growing worldwide.
It has been estimated that 500,000 to 900,000 patients suffer major perioperative cardiovascular complications every year, with consequent heavy, long-term prognostic implications and costs.
It is well known that perioperative MIs don’t share the same pathophysiology as nonsurgical MIs but the relative role of the different, potential triggers has not been completely clarified.
Many aspects of the perioperative management, including risk-stratification and prophylactic or postoperative interventions have also not been completely defined.
Throughout recent years many resources have been invested to clarify these aspects and experts have developed indices and algorithm-based strategies to better assess the cardiac risk and to guide the perioperative management.
The scope of the present review is to discuss the main aspects of perioperative MI in noncardiac surgery, with particular regard to epidemiology, pathophysiology, preoperative risk stratification, prophylaxis and therapy. (Heart International 2006; 2: 82-93)


Myocardial infarction, Noncardiac surgery, Cardiac risk

Published Online

June 01, 2006


Dr. Stefano Lucreziotti, U.O. Cardiologia, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Paolo, Via di Rudinì, 8, 20142 Milano,

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