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Hypotension-Avoidance Versus Hypertension-Avoidance Strategies in Noncardiac Surgery

August 20, 2023

Background:
Among patients having noncardiac surgery, perioperative hemodynamic abnormalities are associated with vascular complications. Uncertainty remains about what intraoperative blood pressure to target and how to manage long-term antihypertensive medications perioperatively.
Objective:
To compare the effects of a hypotension-avoidance and a hypertension-avoidance strategy on major vascular com- plications after noncardiac surgery.
Design:
Partial factorial randomized trial of 2 perioperative blood pressure management strategies (reported here) and tra- nexamic acid versus placebo. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03505723)
Setting: 110 hospitals in 22 countries.
Patients:
7490 patients having noncardiac surgery who were at risk for vascular complications and were receiving 1 or more long-term antihypertensive medications.
Intervention:
In the hypotension-avoidance strategy group, the intraoperative mean arterial pressure target was 80 mm Hg or greater; before and for 2 days after surgery, renin– angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors were withheld and the other long-term antihypertensive medications were administered only for systolic blood pressures 130 mm Hg or greater, following an algorithm. In the hypertension-avoidance strategy group, the intraoperative mean arterial pressure target was 60 mm Hg or greater; all antihypertensive medications were continued before and after surgery.
Measurements:
The primary outcome was a composite of vascular death and nonfatal myocardial injury after noncar- diac surgery, stroke, and cardiac arrest at 30 days. Outcome adjudicators were masked to treatment assignment.
Results:
The primary outcome occurred in 520 of 3742 patients (13.9%) in the hypotension-avoidance group and in 524 of 3748 patients (14.0%) in the hypertension-avoidance group (hazard ratio, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.88 to 1.12]; P = 0.92). Results were con- sistent for patients who used 1 or more than 1 antihypertensive medication in the long term.
Limitation:
Adherence to the assigned strategies was sub- optimal; however, results were consistent across different ad- herence levels.
Conclusion:
In patients having noncardiac surgery, our hypotension-avoidance and hypertension-avoidance strat- egies resulted in a similar incidence of major vascular complications.
Primary Funding Source
Canadian Institutes of Health
Research, National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia), and Research Grant Council of Hong Kong.