Peak oxygen uptake in combination with ventilatory efficiency improve risk stratification in major abdominal surgery.

Kristenson K; Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Gerring E; Björnsson B; Sandström P; Hedman K;

Physiological reports [Physiol Rep] 2024 Jan; Vol. 12 (1), pp. e15904.

This pilot study aimed to evaluate if peak VO 2 and ventilatory efficiency in combination would improve preoperative risk stratification beyond only relying on peak VO 2 . This was a single-center retrospective cohort study including all patients who underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) as part of preoperative risk evaluation before major upper abdominal surgery during years 2008-2021. The primary outcome was any major cardiopulmonary complication during hospitalization. Forty-nine patients had a preoperative CPET before decision to pursue to surgery (cancer in esophagus [n = 18], stomach [6], pancreas [16], or liver [9]). Twenty-five were selected for operation. Patients who suffered any major cardiopulmonary complication had lower ventilatory efficiency (i.e., higher VE/VCO 2 slope, 37.3 vs. 29.7, p = 0.031) compared to those without complications. In patients with a low aerobic capacity (i.e., peak VO 2  < 20 mL/kg/min) and a VE/VCO 2 slope ≥ 39, 80% developed a major cardiopulmonary complication. In this pilot study of patients with preoperative CPET before major upper abdominal surgery, patients who experienced a major cardiopulmonary complication had significantly lower ventilatory efficiency compared to those who did not. A low aerobic capacity in combination with low ventilatory efficiency was associated with a very high risk (80%) of having a major cardiopulmonary complication.