Intraoperative Hypotension Is Associated with Adverse Clinical Outcomes after Noncardiac Surgery

Anne Gregory, Wolf H. Stapelfeldt, Ashish K. Khanna, Nathan J. Smischney, Isabel J. Boero, Qinyu Chen, Mitali Stevens, Andrew D. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Intraoperative hypotension (IOH) occurs frequently during surgery and may be associated with organ ischemia; however, few multicenter studies report data regarding its associations with adverse postoperative outcomes across varying hemodynamic thresholds. Additionally, no study has evaluated the association between IOH exposure and adverse outcomes among patients by various age groups. METHODS: A multicenter retrospective cohort study was conducted between 2008 and 2017 using intraoperative blood pressure data from the US electronic health records database to examine postoperative outcomes. IOH was assessed in 368,222 noncardiac surgical procedures using 5 methods: (a) absolute maximum decrease in mean arterial pressure (MAP) during surgery, (b) time under each absolute threshold, (c) total area under each threshold, (d) time-weighted average MAP under each threshold, and (e) cumulative time under the prespecified relative MAP thresholds. MAP thresholds were defined by absolute limits (≤75, ≤65, ≤55 mm Hg) and by relative limits (20% and 40% lower than baseline). The primary outcome was major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events; secondary outcomes were all-cause 30-and 90-day mortality, 30-day acute myocardial injury, and 30-day acute ischemic stroke. Residual confounding was minimized by controlling for observable patient and surgical factors. In addition, we stratified patients into age subgroups (18-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, >80) to investigate how the association between hypotension and the likelihood of major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events and acute kidney injury differs in these age subgroups. RESULTS: IOH was common with at least 1 reading of MAP ≤75 mm Hg occurring in 39.5% (145,743) of cases; ≤65 mm Hg in 19.3% (70,938) of cases, and ≤55 mm Hg in 7.5% (27,473) of cases. IOH was significantly associated with the primary outcome for all age groups. For an absolute maximum decrease, the estimated odds of a major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events in the 30-day postsurgery was increased by 12% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11-14) for ≤75 mm Hg; 17.0% (95% CI, 15-19) for ≤65 mm Hg; and by 26.0% (95% CI, 22-29) for ≤55 mm Hg. CONCLUSIONS: IOH during noncardiac surgery is common and associated with increased 30-day major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events. This observation is magnified with increasing hypotension severity. The potentially avoidable nature of the hazard, and the extent of the exposed population, makes hypotension in the operating room a serious public health issue that should not be ignored for any age group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1654-1665
Number of pages12
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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