Background: Limited information is available on the association between a medical history of stroke and postoperative outcomes. This study investigated the outcomes following non-neurological surgery in patients with previous stroke.

Methods: Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, a nationwide cohort study was conducted of patients who underwent non-neurological surgery between 2008 and 2010 with a medical history of stroke in the 24-month period before operation. Patients who had non-neurological surgeries without previous stroke were selected as controls by the propensity score-matched pair method. Thirty-day postoperative complications and in-hospital mortality were compared between the two groups.

Results: Some 1 426 795 adults underwent major inpatient non-neurological surgery, of whom 45 420 had a medical history of previous stroke. Patients with previous stroke who underwent surgery had an increased risk of postoperative pneumonia, septicaemia, acute renal failure, acute myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism and 30-day in-hospital mortality (adjusted rate ratio (RR) 1·79, 95 per cent c.i. 1·61 to 1·99). Compared with controls, patients with previous stroke due to intracerebral haemorrhage (RR 3·41, 2·97 to 3·91), and those who were treated in intensive care (RR 2·55, 2·24 to 2·90) or underwent neurosurgery (RR 2·49, 2·12 to 2·92), had an increased 30-day in-hospital mortality rate. Postoperative mortality also increased with stroke-related co-morbidities, and with stroke 1-6 months before surgery (RR 3·31, 2·91 to 3·75).

Conclusion: Patients with previous stroke had a higher risk of adverse postoperative outcomes; their 30-day in-hospital mortality rate was nearly twice that of patients without previous stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1622
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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