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Minerva Anestesiologica 2009 May;75(5):329-32

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Cognitive dysfunction after cardiovascular surgery

Funder K. S., Steinmetz J., Rasmussen L. S.

Department of Anesthesia, Center of Head and Orthopedics, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark


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This review describes the incidence, risk factors, and long-term consequences of cognitive dysfunction after cardiovascular surgery. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is increasingly being recognized as an important complication, especially in the elderly. A highly sensitive neuropsychological test battery must be used to detect POCD and a well-matched control group is very useful for the analysis and interpretation of the test results. Cardiovascular surgery is associated with a high incidence of POCD. Cardiopulmonary bypass was thought to explain this difference, but randomized studies comparing with off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery show contradictory results. POCD seems to have important long-term consequences regarding self-assessed quality of life, survival, and labor market attachment.

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