Guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management

The publication of the new joint ESC/ESA Guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management introduces a number of recommendations in the field. Among other topics, the Guidelines include updated information on the use of clinical indices and biomarkers in risk assessment, and the use of novel anticoagulants, statins, aspirin and beta-blockers in risk mitigation.

Worldwide, non-cardiac surgery is associated with an average overall complication rate of between 7% and 11% and a mortality rate between 0.8% and 1.5%, depending on safety precautions. Up to 42% of these are caused by cardiac complications. When applied to the population in the European Union member states, these figures translate into at least 167,000 cardiac complications annually, of which 19,000 are life-threatening. This highlights the need for guidelines designed to improve peri-operative cardiac risk management in non-cardiac surgery patients. The updated 112 page document with 279 references is freely downloadable from the ESC and EHJ websites(1) and published in the European Heart Journal(2). It will also be available online and in print in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology from September.

The 2014 ESC/ESA Guidelines cover the entire field including surgical risk assessment, pre-operative evaluation, and optimal peri-operative management, and will also address relevant cardiological and anaesthesiological issues in patients with specific cardiac diseases and common co-morbidities who are scheduled to undergo non-cardiac surgery.

These 2014 Guidelines have been released simultaneously with the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Guidelines