Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease that may affect several blood vessels in different organs simultaneously. The spectrum of disease ranges from stroke to myocardial infarction, aortic aneurysms and peripheral vascular insufficiency. Patients suffering from one aspect of atherosclerotic disease will often have asymptomatic lesions elsewhere. Most patients seen with vascular disease by the internist or surgeon have a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, for example, 40-70% of patients undergoing major vascular surgery without clinically evident coronary artery disease will indeed have angiographically demonstrable coronary artery stenosisl . The coronary artery disease may be dormant due to lack of exercise but will undoubtedly have an impact on the management of patients. In patients undergoing vascular surgery coronary artery disease contributes to both perioperative and late death. The number of patients with vascular disease and concomitant coronary artery disease is increasing as the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases increases with age, and the population of Europe is aging rapidly. The number of people over 60 years of age in Europe will probably increase with more than 92 million to 224 million in the year 20252 • Conventional testing in patients with vascular disease for coronary artery disease by exercise stress tests is often impossible due to noncardiac disease. Most patients are suffering from claudication or neurological disease.

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Glaxo, Novo Nordisk Farma, Pfizer, Duphar Nederland, Merck Sharp & Dome, Diasonics-Sonatron, Parke-Davis, Rh6ne-Poulenc Rorer, Sanofi-Winthrop, Zambon, ICI, Lilly
H. van Urk (Hero)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Poldermans, D. (1994, February 2). Dobutamine-atropine stress echocardiography : a method for preoperative cardiac risk stratification in patients undergoing major vascular surgery. Retrieved from