Improved Re-estimation of Perioperative Cardiac Risk Using the Surgical Apgar Score: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Julian F. Daza, Justyna Bartoszko, Wilton Van Klei, Karim S. Ladha, Stuart A. Mccluskey, Duminda N. Wijeysundera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To assess whether the Surgical Apgar Score (SAS) improves re-estimation of perioperative cardiac risk. Background: The SAS is a novel risk index that integrates three relevant and easily measurable intraoperative parameters (blood loss, heart rate, mean arterial pressure) to predict outcomes. The incremental prognostic value of the SAS when used in combination with standard preoperative risk indices is unclear. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adults (18 years and older) who underwent elective noncardiac surgery at a quaternary care hospital in Canada (2009-2014). The primary outcome was postoperative acute myocardial injury. The SAS (range 0-10) was calculated based on intraoperative estimated blood loss, lowest mean arterial pressure, and lowest heart rate documented in electronic medical records. Incremental prognostic value of the SAS when combined with the Revised Cardiac Risk Index was assessed based on discrimination (c-statistic), reclassification (integrated discrimination improvement, net reclassification index), and clinical utility (decision curve analysis). Results: The cohort included 16,835 patients, of whom 607 (3.6%) patients had acute postoperative myocardial injury. Addition of the SAS to the Revised Cardiac Risk Index improved risk estimation based on the integrated discrimination improvement [2.0%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5%-2.4%], continuous net reclassification index (54%; 95% CI: 46%-62%), and c-index, which increased from 0.68 (95% CI: 0.65-0.70) to 0.75 (95% CI: 0.73-0.77). On decision curve analysis, addition of the SAS to the Revised Cardiac Risk Index resulted in a higher net benefit at all decision thresholds. Conclusions: When combined with a validated preoperative risk index, the SAS improved the accuracy of cardiac risk assessment for noncardiac surgery. Further research is needed to delineate how intraoperative data can better guide postoperative decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • intraoperative monitoring
  • myocardial injury
  • perioperative risk assessment
  • postoperative cardiac risk


Dive into the research topics of 'Improved Re-estimation of Perioperative Cardiac Risk Using the Surgical Apgar Score: A Retrospective Cohort Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this