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Cardiovascular complications of cardiac surgery 

Cardiovascular complications of cardiac surgery
Cardiovascular complications of cardiac surgery

Fabio Guarracino

and Rubia Baldassarri

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date: 20 September 2020

Cardiac surgery is burdened by a considerable number of postoperative complications. Among these, cardiovascular complications are the most common and in some cases the most dangerous. This chapter provides an overview on the main cardiovascular complications, including the incidence, the prevention, the diagnostic markers, and the treatment. Cardiac tamponade is reported in 0.5-6% of the cases, and may a life-threatening event. Heart failure (left or right-sided) is more common, with an incidence of about 20%; this condition may be triggered by a perioperative myocardial infarction, or by an ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Thromboembolic events include stroke, mesenteric infarction, peripheral thromboembolism. Finally, a specific respect is deserved by arrhythmic conditions. The most common (20-40%) is atrial fibrillation, that although being often considered a relatively minor complication, may prolong the hospital stay. Ventricular arrhythmias and disturbances of the conduction system are common, and deserve a specific treatment.

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