Nitrous Oxide and Serious Long-term Morbidity and Mortality in the Evaluation of Nitrous Oxide in the Gas Mixture for Anaesthesia (ENIGMA)-II Trial

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Abstract

Background:

The Evaluation of Nitrous Oxide in the Gas Mixture for Anaesthesia (ENIGMA)-II trial randomly assigned 7,112 noncardiac surgery patients at risk of perioperative cardiovascular events to 70% N2O or 70% N2 groups. The aim of this follow-up study was to determine the effect of nitrous oxide on a composite primary outcome of death and major cardiovascular events at 1 yr after surgery.

Methods:

One-year follow-up was conducted via a medical record review and telephone interview. Disability was defined as a Katz index of independence in activities of daily living score less than 8. Adjusted odds ratios and hazard ratios were calculated as appropriate for primary and secondary outcomes.

Results:

Among 5,844 patients evaluated at 1 yr, 435 (7.4%) had died, 206 (3.5%) had disability, 514 (8.8%) had a fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction, and 111 (1.9%) had a fatal or nonfatal stroke during the 1-yr follow-up period. Exposure to nitrous oxide did not increase the risk of the primary outcome (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.25; P = 0.27), disability or death (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.27; P = 0.44), death (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.97 to 1.43; P = 0.10), myocardial infarction (odds ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.17; P = 0.78), or stroke (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.58; P = 0.70).

Conclusion:

These results support the long-term safety of nitrous oxide administration in noncardiac surgical patients with known or suspected cardiovascular disease.

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