Perioperative care of adults with Down syndrome: a narrative review.
Because of enhanced life expectancy due to medical and surgical therapeutic advances, it is estimated that there are more adults than children living with Down syndrome (DS), or trisomy 21, in the United States. Therefore, DS can no longer be considered a syndrome limited to the pediatric population. These patients are presenting for surgery and anesthesia in adult care settings, where anesthesiologists will encounter these patients more frequently. As these patients age, their commonly associated co-morbidities not only progress, but they also develop other cardiac, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurologic conditions. The manifestations and consequences of chronic disease can present new challenges for the anesthesiologist and require expertise and judgement to minimize patient risk. The purpose of this narrative review is to describe the common pediatric co-morbidities associated with DS and discuss the age-acquired manifestations. Additionally, considerations for anesthetic care of the adult with DS will be presented, including the preoperative assessment, intraoperative management, and postoperative care.
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