Anaesthesia | VOL. 78

Anaesthesia for vascular emergencies – a state of the art review

Publication Date Oct 29, 2022


In this state-of-the-art review, we discuss the presenting symptoms and management strategies for vascular emergencies. Although vascular emergencies are best treated at a vascular surgical centre, patients may present to any emergency department and may require both immediate management and safe transport to a vascular centre. We describe the surgical and anaesthetic considerations for management of aortic dissection, aortic rupture, carotid endarterectomy, acute limb ischaemia and mesenteric ischaemia. Important issues to consider in aortic dissection are extent of the dissection and surgical need for bypasses in addition to endovascular repair. From an anaesthetist's perspective, aortic dissection requires infrastructure for massive transfusion, smooth management should an endovascular procedure require conversion to an open procedure, haemodynamic manipulation during stent deployment and prevention of spinal cord ischaemia. Principles in management of aortic rupture, whether open or endovascular treatment is chosen, include immediate transfer to a vascular care centre; minimising haemodynamic changes to reduce aortic shear stress; permissive hypotension in the pre-operative period; and initiation of massive transfusion protocol. Carotid endarterectomy for carotid stenosis is managed with general or regional techniques, and anaesthetists must be prepared to manage haemodynamic, neurological and airway issues peri-operatively. Acute limb ischaemia is a result of embolism, thrombosis, dissection or trauma, and may be treate...


Vascular Emergencies Acute Limb Ischaemia Vascular Centre Mesenteric Ischaemia Aortic Dissection Management Of Transfusion Permissive Hypotension Peri-operative Issues Massive Transfusion Considerations For Management

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