Review of a routine test of cardiac function before aortic aneurysm surgery

Paul Crow, Bill Neary, Brian P. Heather, Jonothan J. Earnshaw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The majority of vascular surgeons employ tests of cardiac function prior to embarking on elective abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair. This study reviewed the value of measuring preoperative ventricular ejection fraction (VEF). The records of the 207 patients considered for elective AAA repair between 1994 and 2000 were reviewed. In patients who underwent surgery, morbidity and mortality data were retrieved from the vascular department database. These outcomes were correlated with the measured VEFs. In patients turned down for surgery, the reasons were determined from patients' notes, and the role that VEF played in the decision was evaluated. Low VEF did not correlate with postoperative cardiac morbidity or mortality. The range of VEF values in patients turned down for surgery was not significantly different from those who underwent AAA repair. VEF was pivotal in the decision not to operate in only one patient over the 6-year interval. This review found no evidence that routine measurement of VEF prior to elective AAA repair was valuable either in making the decision whether to operate or in predicting outcome and complications. Little or no information was added that could not be gained on simple clinical evaluation of cardiac function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-242
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic aneurysm repair
  • Cardiac complications
  • Cardiac output
  • Coronary disease


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