Sex differences in perioperative and long-term cardiac event-free survival in vascular surgery patients: An analysis of clinical and scintigraphic variables

Robert C. Hendel, Ming Hui Chen, Gilbert J. L'Italien, John B. Newell, Sumita D. Paul, Kim A. Eagle, Jeffrey A. Leppo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Little information is available regarding the occurrence of perioperative and late cardiac events in women with vascular disease. The current study was performed to examine whether sex-specific differences exist in these outcomes in a large population of vascular surgery patients and to determine the value of clinical and dipyridamole thallium variables in predicting myocardial infarction and cardiac death. Methods and Results: Preoperative dipyridamole thallium imaging was performed in 567 vascular surgery patients, including 380 men and 187 women. The incidence of nonfatal myocardial infarction and cardiac death was noted during the perioperative period and during a follow-up period of 50±5 months. Fixed and reversible thallium perfusion abnormalities were more common in men than in women (P<.001 and P=.004, respectively). Perioperative cardiac event rates were similar in men and women, 8.4% and 7.5%, respectively (P=.07). A transient thallium defect was associated with an increased risk of cardiac events by 3.9-fold in men (CI, 1.5 to 10.2) and 5.5-fold in women (CI, 1.4 to 22). Various clinical factors also were predictive of events but demonstrated substantial sex differences. For example, dipyridamole-induced ST-segment depression was strongly associated with perioperative events in men but not in women. There were 22 nonfatal myocardial infarctions and 29 cardiac deaths in men during the follow-up period, with comparable event rates noted for women. Cardiac event-free survival rates also were similar for men and women (P=.40). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that a history of heart failure was an important prognostic variable for both sexes, as was a fixed thallium defect. Significant sex differences in the predictive value of other clinical factors for late cardiac events was apparent. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that (1) thallium perfusion defects are more common in men; (2) transient thallium defects are associated with perioperative myocardial infarction and cardiac death in both sexes; (3) long-term survival rates after vascular surgery are similar between men and women; (4) a fixed perfusion defect is predictive of late cardiac events in women, with a trend noted in men; and (5) sex-specific differences were noted with regard to the prognostic value of various clinical risk factors. Therefore, dipyridamole thallium plays a significant role in the assessment of perioperative and long-term prognosis for both male and female vascular surgery patients. On the basis of these observations, modifications in risk stratification based on sex may be appropriate for men and women with vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1051
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 1995


  • coronary disease
  • dipyridamole
  • imaging
  • prognosis
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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