The recent literature concerned with
postoperative myocardial infarction is limited
to relatively few detailed reports.1-3
Advances in surgical and anesthetic procedures
and the improvement in the pre- and
postoperative care of the patient entail
revision of the data of the older literature.
Myocardial infarction is not an uncommon
postoperative complication; it is particularly
prevalent in the older age group.
Recent data (1954, 1956)4,5 suggest that
myocardial infarction is responsible for
10% of the deaths following major operations
in patients above the age of 60 years.
The incidence may be even greater, since
necropsies indicate that the clinical diagnosis
of myocardial infarction as the cause
of sudden death is missed in about 50%
of the cases.5 The purpose of this study
is to present three years' experience (1954-1957)
at the Graduate Hospital of the
University of Pennsylvania with postoperative
myocardial infarction and to discuss
the predisposing and precipitating factors,