International Perfusion Association


Blood Pressure Fragmentation as a New Measure of Blood Pressure Variability: Association with Predictors of Cardiac Surgery Outcomes

Background: Fluctuations in beat-to-beat blood pressure variability (BPV) encode untapped information of clinical utility. A need exists for developing new methods to quantify the dynamical properties of these fluctuations beyond their mean and variance. Objectives: Introduction of a new beat-to-beat BPV measure, termed blood pressure fragmentation (BPF), and testing of whether increased preoperative BPF is associated with (i) older age; (ii) higher cardiac surgical risk, assessed using the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ (STS) Risk of Morbidity and Mortality index and the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation Score (EuroSCORE II); and (iii) longer ICU length of stay (LOS) following cardiac surgery. The secondary objective was to use standard BPV measures, specifically, mean, SD, coefficient of variation (CV), average real variability (ARV), as well a short-term scaling index, the detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) ⍺1 exponent, in the same type of analyses to compare the results with those obtained using BPF. Methods:Consecutive sample of 497 adult patients (72% male; age, median [inter-quartile range]: 67 [59-75] years) undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Fragmentation, standard BPV and DFA ⍺1 measures were derived from preoperative systolic blood pressure (SBP) time series obtained from radial artery recordings. Results: Increased preoperative systolic BPF was associated with older age, higher STS Risk of Morbidity and Mortality and EuroSCORE II values, and longer ICU LOS in all models. Specifically, a one-SD increase in systolic BPF (9%) was associated with a 26% (13%-40%) higher likelihood of longer ICU LOS (>2 days). Among the other measures, only ARV and DFA ⍺1 tended to be associated with longer ICU LOS. However, the associations did not reach significance in the most adjusted models. Conclusion: Preoperative BPF was significantly associated with preoperative predictors of cardiac surgical outcomes as well as with ICU LOS. Our findings encourage future studies of preoperative BPF for assessment of health status and risk stratification of surgical and non-surgical patients.

Keywords: ICU length of stay; aging; alternans; beat-to-beat blood pressure variability; blood pressure fragmentation; cardiac surgicICU length of stay; aging; alternans; beat-to-beat blood pressure variability; blood pressure fragmentation; cardiac surgical risk prediction.

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