, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1327-1332
Date: 08 Apr 2010

Goal-directed therapy in high-risk surgical patients: a 15-year follow-up study

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Goal-directed therapy in the perioperative setting has been shown to be associated with short-term improvements in outcome. This study assesses the longer-term survival of patients from a previous randomized controlled trial of goal-directed therapy in high-risk surgical patients.


All patients from a previous randomized controlled study were followed up for 15 years following randomization to ascertain their length of survival following surgery. Factors that may be associated with increased survival were evaluated to determine what influenced long-term outcomes.


Data from 106 of the original 107 patients (99%) were available for analysis. At 15 years, 11 (20.7%) of the goal-directed therapy patients versus 4 (7.5%) of the control group were alive (p = 0.09). Median survival for the goal-directed group was increased by 1,107 days (1,781 vs. 674 days, p = 0.005). Long-term survival was associated with three independent factors: age [hazard ratio (HR) 1.04 (1.02–1.07), p < 0.0001], randomization to the goal-directed group of the study [HR 0.61 (0.4–0.92), p = 0.02], and avoidance of a significant postoperative cardiac complication [HR 3.78 (2.16–6.6), p = 0.007].


Long-term survival after major surgery is related to a number of factors, including patient age and avoidance of perioperative complications. Short-term goal-directed therapy in the perioperative period may improve long-term outcomes, in part due to its ability to reduce the number of perioperative complications.