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Article of the Week: Using cardiopulmonary reserve to predict complications following radical cystectomy

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

 

Cardiopulmonary Reserve as Determined by Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Correlates with Length of Stay and Predicts Complications following Radical Cystectomy

 

Stephen Tolchard, Johanna Angell, Mark Pyke, Simon Lewis, Nicholas DoddsAlia Darweish, Paul White* and David Gillatt

 

Departments of Anaesthesia and† Surgery, North Bristol NHS Trust, and *Applied Statistics Group, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

 

OBJECTIVES

To investigate whether poor preoperative cardiopulmonary reserve and comorbid state dictate high-risk status and can predict complications in patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS

In all, 105 consecutive patients with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC; stage T1–T3) undergoing robot-assisted (38 patients) or open (67) RC in a single UK centre underwent preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). Prospective primary outcome variables were all-cause complications and postoperative length of stay (LOS). Binary logistic regression analysis identified potential predictive factor(s) and the predictive accuracy of CPET for all-cause complications was examined using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Correlations analysis employed Spearman’s rank correlation and group comparison, the Mann–Whitney U-test and Fisher’s exact test. Any relationships were confirmed using the Mantel–Haenszel common odds ratio estimate, Kaplan–Meier analysis and the chi-squared test.

RESULTS

The anaerobic threshold (AT) was negatively (r = −206, P = 0.035), and the ventilatory equivalent for carbon dioxide (VE/VCO2) positively (r = 0.324, P = 0.001) correlated with complications and LOS. Logistic regression analysis identified low AT (<11 mL/kg/min), high VE/VC02 (≥33) and hypertension as significant factors, such that, in their presence patients were 5.55-times more likely to have complications at 90 days postoperatively [P = 0.001, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2–13.9]. ROC analysis showed a high significance (area under the curve 0.78, 95% CI 0.69–0.87; P < 0.001). In addition, based on CPET criteria >50% of patients presenting for RC had significant heart failure, whereas preoperatively only very few (2%) had this diagnosis. Analysis using the Mann–Whitney test showed that a VE/VCO2 ≥33 was the most significant determinant of LOS (P = 0.004). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that patients in this group had an additional median LOS of 4 days (P = 0.008). Finally, patients with an American Society of Anesthesiologists grade of 3 (ASA 3) and those on long-term β-blocker therapy were found to be at particular risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and death after RC with odds ratios of 4.0 (95% CI 1.05–15.2; P = 0.042) and 6.3 (95% CI 1.60–24.8; P = 0.008).

CONCLUSION

Patients with poor cardiopulmonary reserve and hypertension are at higher risk of postoperative complications and have increased LOS after RC. Heart failure is known to be a significant determinant of perioperative death and is significantly under diagnosed in this patient group.

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