Background: Vascular surgery patients are at increased risk for late sudden cardiac death. Identification of patients at risk during surgery offers the opportunity for focused therapy. Methods: We monitored 483 vascular surgery patients who had no documented history of arrhythmias to identify perioperative new-onset ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VT) and myocardial ischemia using a continuous electrocardiographic (ECG) device for 72 hours. Cardiac risk factors, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), medical therapy, inflammation status, and perioperative ischemia in relation to arrhythmia were noted in all patients. During follow-up, event-based outcomes analysis was used to describe survival. Results: New-onset perioperative VT was detected in 33 patients (6.8%). A higher percentage of patients experiencing perioperative VT had reduced LVEF preoperatively than those without VT (24% vs 12%; P = .04). Additionally, fewer patients experiencing VT were receiving statins than those without (70% vs 85%; P = .02). Patients experiencing VT had a higher incidence of myocardial ischemia (30% vs 18%; P = .10). Perioperative VT was preceded by ischemia in only 60% of the cases. The overall cohort survival was 83% at 24-month follow-up (interquartile range [IQR], 1.1-1.3). Sudden cardiac death free survival among patients experiencing VT was less than in those without (79% vs 92%; P = .02). After adjusting for gender, cardiac risk factors, and type of surgery, new-onset perioperative VT was associated with sudden cardiac death (hazard ratio [HR], 2.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-5.8). Conclusion: Perioperative VT is likely to be associated with late sudden cardiac death and decreased survival. Continuous perioperative ECG is an effective method to identify VT and may allow improved management of these patients.,
Journal of Vascular Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Winkel, T., Voûte, M., Melis, M., Hoeks, S., Schouten, O., Kessels, R., … Poldermans, D. (2011). Sudden death during follow-up after new-onset ventricular tachycardias in vascular surgery patients. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 53(3), 732–737. doi:10.1016/j.jvs.2010.09.013