This review documents the anaesthetic management, haemodynamic function and outcome in 18 of 86 heart-transplanted recipients, who returned for 32 non-cardiac surgical procedures at the Toronto Hospital from 1985 to 1990. General anaesthesia was administered in eight of the 27 elective operations and four of the five emergency operations. Induction medications included thiopentone (2-4 mg.kg-1), fentanyl (1-7 micrograms.kg-1) and succinylcholine (1-1.5 mg.kg-1). Anaesthesia was maintained with a combination of oxygen/nitrous oxide and isoflurane or enflurane. Muscle relaxation was maintained with vecuronium or pancuronium. No delayed awakening or unplanned postoperative ventilation was observed. Neurolept-anaesthesia was administered to 63.0% and 20.0% of the elective and emergency operations, respectively. The anaesthetics included fentanyl (25-100 micrograms) and midazolam (0.5-1.5 mg) or diazemuls (2.5-5.0 mg). Spinal anaesthesia (75 mg lidocaine) was administered to only two of the 27 elective operations. No important haemodynamic changes were observed in any anaesthetic group, but lower systolic BP was found after induction and during maintenance periods in the patients who received general anaesthesia than in those who received neurolept-anaesthesia. However, no anaesthesia-related morbidity or mortality was noted. This suggests that general, neurolept- and spinal anaesthesia do not affect haemodynamic function or postoperative outcome in heart-transplanted recipients undergoing subsequent non-cardiac surgery.
Comment In: Can J Anaesth. 1994 Jul;41(7):655-68087917