Risk prediction models in cardiovascular surgery

Student thesis: Phd


Objectives: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the developed world. Surgery can improve prognosis and relieve symptoms. Risk prediction models are increasingly being used to inform clinicians and patients about the risks of surgery, to facilitate clinical decision making and for the risk-adjustment of surgical outcome data. The importance of risk prediction models in cardiovascular surgery has been highlighted by the publication of cardiovascular surgery outcome data and the need for risk-adjustment. The overall objective of this thesis is to advance risk prediction modelling in cardiovascular surgery with a focus on the development of models for elective AAA repair and assessment of models for cardiac surgery.Methods: Three large clinical databases (two elective AAA repair and one cardiac surgery) were utilised. Each database was cleaned prior to analysis. Logistic regression was used to develop both regional and national risk prediction models for mortality following elective AAA repair. A regional model to identify the risk of developing renal failure following elective AAA repair was also developed. The performance of a widely used cardiac surgery risk prediction model (the logistic EuroSCORE) over time was evaluated using a national cardiac database. In addition an updated model version (EuroSCORE II) was validated and both models' performance in emergency cardiac surgery was evaluated. Results: Regional risk models for mortality following elective AAA repair (VGNW model) and a model to predict post-operative renal failure were developed. Validation of the model for mortality using a national dataset demonstrated good performance compared to other available risk models. To improve generalisability a national model (the BAR score) with better discriminatory ability was developed. In a prospective validation of both models using regional data, the BAR score demonstrated excellent discrimination overall and good discrimination in procedural sub-groups. The EuroSCORE was found to have lost calibration over time due to a fall in observed mortality despite an increase in the predicted mortality of patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The EuroSCORE II demonstrated good performance for contemporary cardiac surgery. Both EuroSCORE models demonstrated inadequate performance for emergency cardiac surgery.Conclusions: Risk prediction models play an important role in cardiovascular surgery. Two accurate risk prediction models for mortality following elective AAA repair have been developed and can be used to risk-adjust surgical outcomes and facilitate clinical decision making. As surgical practice changes over time risk prediction models may lose accuracy which has implications for their application. Cardiac risk models may not be sufficiently accurate for high-risk patient groups such as those undergoing emergency surgery and specific emergency models may be required. Continuing research into new risk factors and model outcomes is needed and risk prediction models may play an increasing role in clinical decision making in the future.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCharles Mccollum (Supervisor) & Julie Morris (Supervisor)


  • Clinical prediction model
  • Risk models
  • Risk prediction
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Vascular surgery
  • Cardiovascular surgery
  • Cardiac surgery

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