One hundred and one patients were randomly allocated to have their peripheral vascular surgery performed under general anaesthesia (51 patients) or spinal anaesthesia (50 patients). Intraoperative haemodynamic changes were markedly different between the two groups with a higher incidence of hypotension in the spinal group (72% vs 31%) and a higher incidence of hypertension in the general anaesthesia group (22% vs 0%). Blood loss was significantly less in the spinal group (560, SD 340, ml vs 792, SD 440, ml). Postoperatively three patients from the general anaesthesia group died from causes unrelated to the anaesthesia, and one had a myocardial infarct. Two patients in the spinal group had myocardial infarcts, both had been treated for bradycardia and hypotension intraoperatively, and one died. There was a significantly higher incidence of postoperative chest infection in the general anaesthesia group (33% vs 16%). There was no significant difference between the groups in the incidence of postoperative confusion, or lower limb amputation rate or need for further surgery prior to hospital discharge.
Cook, Davies, Cronin, Moran, , , , , (1986). A prospective randomised trial comparing spinal anaesthesia using hyperbaric cinchocaine with general anaesthesia for lower limb vascular surgery. Anaesthesia and intensive care, 1986 Nov;14(4):373-80. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3551674