Background The cardiologist is regularly consulted preop-eratively by anaesthesiologists. However, insights into the efficiency and usefulness of these consultations are unclear. Methods This is a retrospective study of 24,174 preoperatively screened patients ≥18 years scheduled for elective non-cardiac surgery, which resulted in 273 (1%) referrals to the cardiologist for further preoperative evaluation. Medical charts were reviewed for patient characteristics, main reason for referring, requested diagnostic tests, interventions, adjustment in medical therapy, 30-day mortality and major adverse cardiac events. Results The most common reason for consultation was the evaluation of a cardiac murmur (95 patients, 35%). In 167 (61%) patients, no change in therapy was initiated by the cardiologist. Six consultations (2%) led to invasive interventions (electrical cardioversion, percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary artery bypass surgery). On average, consultation delayed clearance for surgery by two weeks. Conclusion In most patients referred to the cardiologist after being screened at an outpatient anaesthesiology clinic, echocardiography is performed for ruling out specific conditions and to be sure that no further improvement can be made in the patient’s health. In the majority, no change in therapy was initiated by the cardiologist. A more careful consideration about the potential benefits of consulting must be made for every patient.

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Netherlands Heart Journal
Department of Anesthesiology

de Groot, M., Spronk, A., Hoeks, S., Stolker, R., & van Lier, F. (2017). The preoperative cardiology consultation: Indications and risk modification. Netherlands Heart Journal, 25(11), 629–633. doi:10.1007/s12471-017-1004-1