Non-cardiac surgery in patients with coronary artery disease: risk evaluation and periprocedural management

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Nature Reviews Cardiology








© 2020, Springer Nature Limited. Perioperative cardiovascular complications are important causes of morbidity and mortality associated with non-cardiac surgery, particularly in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Although preoperative cardiac risk assessment can facilitate the identification of vulnerable patients and implementation of adequate preventive measures, excessive evaluation might lead to undue resource utilization and surgical delay. Owing to conflicting data, there remains some uncertainty regarding the most beneficial perioperative strategy for patients with CAD. Antithrombotic agents are the cornerstone of secondary prevention of ischaemic events but substantially increase the risk of bleeding. Given that 5–25% of patients undergoing coronary stent implantation require non-cardiac surgery within 2 years, surgery is the most common reason for premature cessation of dual antiplatelet therapy. Perioperative management of antiplatelet therapy, which necessitates concomitant evaluation of the individual thrombotic and bleeding risks related to both clinical and procedural factors, poses a recurring dilemma in clinical practice. Current guidelines do not provide detailed recommendations on this topic, and the optimal approach in these patients is yet to be determined. This Review summarizes the current data guiding preoperative risk stratification as well as periprocedural management of patients with CAD undergoing non-cardiac surgery, including those treated with stents.