Comparison of 4 Cardiac Risk Calculators in Predicting Postoperative Cardiac Complications After Noncardiac Operations

S. L. Cohn, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
N. Fernandez Ros


© 2017 Elsevier Inc. The 2014 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Perioperative Guidelines suggest using the Revised Cardiac Risk Index, myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest, or American College of Surgeons—National Surgical Quality Improvement Program calculators for combined patient-surgical risk assessment. There are no published data comparing their performance. This study compared these risk calculators and a reconstructed Revised Cardiac Risk Index in predicting postoperative cardiac complications, both during hospitalization and 30 days after operation, in a patient cohort who underwent select surgical procedures in various risk categories. Cardiac complications occurred in 14 of 663 patients (2.1%), of which 11 occurred during hospitalization. Only 3 of 663 patients (0.45%) had a myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest. Because these calculators used different risk factors, different outcomes, and different durations of observation, a true direct comparison is not possible. We found that all 4 risk calculators performed well in the setting they were originally studied but were less accurate when applied in a different manner. In conclusion, all calculators were useful in defining low-risk patients in whom further cardiac testing was unnecessary, and the myocardial infarction or cardiac arrest may be the most reliable in selecting higher risk patients.