Regional Versus General Anaesthesia in Peripheral Vascular Surgery: a Propensity Score Matched Nationwide Cohort Study of 17 359 Procedures in Denmark

Jannie Bisgaard, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Bodil S Rasmussen, Kim C Houlind, Signe J Riddersholm

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3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: Cardiopulmonary comorbidity is common in vascular surgery. General anaesthesia (GA) may impair perfusion and induce respiratory depression. Regional anaesthesia (RA), including neuraxial or peripheral nerve blocks, may therefore be associated with a better outcome.

METHODS: This was a nationwide retrospective cohort study. All open inguinal and infra-inguinal arterial surgical reconstructions from 2005 to 2017 were included. Data were extracted from national registries. Multivariable linear and logistic regression models and propensity score matching were used. The propensity score was derived by developing a model that predicted the probability that a given patient would receive GA based on age, comorbidity, anticoagulant medication, procedure type, and the urgency of surgery. Matching was performed in four groups based on American Society of Anesthesiologists' score I - II, score III - V, and gender. Outcome parameters included surgical and general complications (bleeding, thrombosis/embolus, cardiac, pulmonary, renal, cerebral, and >3 days intensive care therapy), length of stay, and 30 day mortality, hypothesising a better outcome after RA.

RESULTS: There were 10 509 procedures in the GA group and 6 850 in the RA group. After propensity score matching, 6 267 procedures were included in each group. Surgical and general complications were significantly more common after GA in both matched (3.8 vs. 2.5%, p < .001 and 6.5 vs. 4.2%, p < .001) and unmatched analyses (3.8 vs. 2.5%, p < .001 and 6.5 vs. 4.2%, p < .001). The 30 day mortality rate was significantly higher after GA, in matched and un matched analyses (3.1 vs. 2.4%, p = .019 and 4.1 vs. 2.4%, p < .001). There was no difference in length of stay.

CONCLUSION: RA may be associated with a better outcome, compared with GA, after open inguinal and infra-inguinal peripheral vascular surgery. In the clinical context when RA is not feasible, GA can still be considered safe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)430-438
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Editor's Choice


  • Chronic limb threatening ischaemia
  • Danish vascular registry
  • Outcome
  • Peripheral vascular surgery
  • Regional anaesthesia


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