Cognitive decline after major noncardiac operations: a preliminary prospective study.


Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Cardiac operations frequently are complicated by postoperative cognitive decline. Less common and less studied is postoperative cognitive decline after noncardiac surgery, so we determined its incidence, severity, and possible predictors. METHODS: Twenty-nine patients who had thoracic and vascular procedures were studied. A neurocognitive test battery was administered preoperatively and 6 to 12 weeks postoperatively. A change score (preoperative minus postoperative) was calculated for each measure in each individual. Cognitive deficit (a measure of incidence) was defined as a 20% decrement in 20% or more of the completed tests. The average scores of all tests and the average decline (a measure of severity) were determined. RESULTS: The incidence of cognitive deficit was 44.8%. Overall the severity of the decline was an average of 15% decline. In the 44.8% of patients who had cognitive deficit, the severity was 24.7%. Multivariable predictors of cognitive decline were age (for incidence and severity) and years of education (for severity). CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive decline after noncardiac operations is a frequent complication of surgical procedures. The severity could preclude successful return to a preoperative lifestyle.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Grichnik, KP; Ijsselmuiden, AJ; D'Amico, TA; Harpole, DH; White, WD; Blumenthal, JA; Newman, MF

Published Date

  • November 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 68 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1786 - 1791

PubMed ID

  • 10585059

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10585059

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-4975

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0003-4975(99)00992-3


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands