Should the Angiotensin II Antagonists be Discontinued Before Surgery?


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Abstract

Angiotensin II antagonists (AIIA) are part of a new rational treatment of hypertension. Because adverse circulatory effects during anesthesia can occur in patients chronically treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, some clinicians discontinue them at least 24 h before operation. No data are available concerning AIIA administration in patients scheduled for vascular surgery performed under general anesthesia. The aim of this prospective randomized study was to compare hemodynamics during induction of anesthesia in patients chronically treated with AIIA and those of patients not receiving this drug on the morning before operation. Thirty-seven patients chronically treated with AIIA for hypertension were randomly assigned to two groups: Group I: AIIA discontinued on the day before surgery (n = 18); Group II: AIIA given 1 h before anesthesia (n = 19). Patients received sufentanil 0.4 μg/kg, propofol 1.5 mg/kg, and atracurium 0.5 mg/kg. During the procedure, the anesthesiologist was required to maintain systolic blood pressure and heart rate within 30% of baseline values using intravascular fluid administration and vasoconstric- tors (e.g., ephedrine, phenylephrine, or terlipressin). Hemodynamic variables were recorded each 1 min. Hemodynamic study ended at incision. The number and duration of hemodynamic events were collected, and total doses of vasoactive drugs were noted in each group. Systolic arterial pressure was significantly decreased in Group II at 5, 15 and 23 min after induction of anesthesia (*P < 0.05). In this group, the decrease in systolic arterial pressure was associated with more frequent episodes of hypotension (AIIA withdrawn: 1 ± 1; AIIA given: 2 ± 1;P < 0.01), with a larger number of patients developing at least 1 episode of hypotension (AIIA withdrawn: 12; AIIA given: 19;P < 0.01), and a longer duration of an episode of hypotension (AIIA withdrawn: 3 ± 4 min; AIIA given: 8 ± 7 min;P < 0.01), and an increased need for vasoactive drugs. In conclusion, blockade of the renin-angiotensin system increases the potential hypotensive effect of anesthetic induction. A severe hypotensive episode, requiring vasoconstrictor treatment, occurs after induction of general anesthesia in patients chronically treated with AIIA. Recommendations to discontinue AIIA drugs on the day before the surgery may be justified.IMPLICATIONSThis prospective randomized study demonstrated that more severe hypotensive episodes, requiring vasoconstrictor treatment, occur after induction of general anesthesia in patients chronically treated with AIIA and receiving this drug on the morning before operation, in comparison with those in whom AIIA were discontinued on the day before operation. Recommendations to discontinue these drugs on the day before the surgery may be justified.

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