Med J Aust. 2023 Jul 3;219(1):30-39. doi: 10.5694/mja2.51988. Epub 2023 Jun 11.
Peri-operative cardiovascular events occur in up to 3% of patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery. Accurate cardiovascular risk assessment is important in the peri-operative setting, as it allows informed and shared decisions regarding the appropriateness of proceeding with surgery, guides surgical and anaesthetic approaches, and may influence the use of preventive medications and post-operative cardiac monitoring. Quantitative risk assessment may also inform a reconsideration of choosing a more limited lower risk type of surgery, or conservative management. Pre-operative cardiovascular risk assessment starts with clinical assessment and should include an estimate of functional capacity. Specialised cardiac investigations are rarely indicated specifically to assess pre-operative cardiovascular risk. The decision regarding cardiac investigations is influenced by the nature, extent and urgency of surgery. The strategy of performing pre-operative revascularisation to improve post-operative outcomes is not evidence-based and recent international guidelines recommend against this.