Study objectives: A summary of current modalities for
and the utility of preoperative assessment of pulmonary risk.
Design: Review of recent literature published in the
Setting: Not applicable.
Patients or participants: Patients who undergo elective
cardiothoracic or abdominal operations.
Measurements and results:
Postoperative pulmonary complications occur after 25 to 50% of major
surgical procedures. The accuracy of the preoperative assessment of the
risk of such complications is only fair. The routine assessment for all
preoperative patients includes age, general physiologic status, and the
nature of the planned operation. Specific tests such as measurement of
spirometric values and diffusing capacity are indicated routinely only
for patients who are candidates for major lung resection or
Conclusions: Pulmonary complications
are an important form of postoperative morbidity after major
cardiothoracic and abdominal operations. The appropriate preoperative
assessment of the risk of such complications is well defined for lung
resection and esophagectomy operations, but it requires refinement for
general surgical and cardiovascular