Fast-track cardiac anesthesia: Choice of anesthetic agents and techniques

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Fast-track cardiac anesthesia (FTCA) incorporates early tracheal extubation, decreased length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stay, and (ideally) should avoid or reduce complications to safely achieve cost-savings. A growing body of evidence from randomized trials has identified many anesthetic interventions that can improve outcome after cardiac surgery. These include new short-acting hypnotic, opioid, and neuromuscular blocking drugs. An effective FTCA program requires the appropriate selection of suitable patients, a low-dose opioid anesthetic technique, early tracheal extubation, a short stay in the ICU, and coordinated perioperative care. It is also dependent on the avoidance of postoperative complications such as excessive bleeding, myocardial ischemia, low cardiac output state, arrhythmias, sepsis, and renal failure. These complications will have a much greater adverse effect on hospital length of stay and healthcare costs. A number of clinical trials have identified interventions that can reduce some of these complications. The adoption of effective treatments into clinical practice should improve the effectiveness of FTCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-16
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Cite this