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Cerebral complications after coronary artery bypass and heart valve surgery: Risk factors and onset of symptoms
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia and Intensive care. Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Care, Thoracic Surgery. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
1998 (English)In: Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia, ISSN 1053-0770, E-ISSN 1532-8422, Vol. 12, no 3, 270-273 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Cerebral complications continue to be a major cause of morbidity after cardiac surgery. Earlier studies have mainly focused on intraoperative events, but symptoms may also occur later in the postoperative period. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence and risk factors of focal neurologic complications and timing of cerebral symptoms.

Design: A retrospective study.

Setting: Linköping University Hospital.

Participants: Two thousand four hundred eighty patients who underwent cardiac surgery from 1992 to 1995.

Interventions: Standard cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) technique was used in all patients. Anticoagulant treatment included heparin and patients with coronary artery surgery were also administered acetylsalicylic acid and valve-surgery patients received warfarin or dicumarol.

Measurements and Main Results: Seventy-five patients (3%) had focal neurologic deficits and/or confusion postoperatively. In 32 patients (43%), the onset was not intraoperative but occurred later in the postoperative period. The lowest incidence of cerebral complications was found in patients who underwent single-valve replacement (1.2%) and the highest incidence was found in patients who underwent combined procedures (valve and coronary artery surgery; 7.6%). Patients greater than 70 years of age had a complication rate of 4.1% compared with 2.5% in patients aged 70 years and less (p < 0.05). The incidence of diabetes mellitus was 11.4% in the entire series, but was more common (18.7%; p < 0.05) in patients with cerebral symptoms. Also, 5.9% of all patients had a history of cerebrovascular disease compared with 14.7% (p < 0.01) of patients with cerebral complications.

Conclusion: Cerebral complications may be delayed after cardiac surgery, suggesting causes of cerebral damage other than intraoperative events. Valve-surgery patients had the lowest incidence and patients with combined procedures had the highest incidence of cerebral complications. Advanced age, diabetes mellitus, and preexisting cerebrovascular disease increased the risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 12, no 3, 270-273 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81345DOI: 10.1016/S1053-0770(98)90004-0OAI: diva2:551801
Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2012-09-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cerebral complications after cardiac surgery
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cerebral complications after cardiac surgery
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Cerebral injuty remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery. Previous studies have mainly focused on preoperative risk factors and intraoperative events but cerebral complications may also occur in the postoperative period. Cognitive impairment is common after cardiac surgery but the consequences of this complication for activities of daily life are less known. Safe driving involves a complex set of skills requiring preserved cognitive function. A substantial number of patients with heart disease are active drivers. The impact of postoperative cognitive dysfunction on driving performance, however, has not previously been investigated in this large patient group.

In this thesis pre-, intra- and postoperative risk factors for focal cerebral complications were determined and the onset time of cerebral symptoms were evaluated in two cohorts of cardiac surgical patients, comprising 2480 and 3282 patients respectively. Data analysed were drafted from a clinical register and the surgical database of Linköping University Hospital Heart Center. Cerebral complication was delayed, i.e occurred after a free interval, in about one third of patients suggesting causes other than intraoperative events. Different risk factors were found for early and delayed cerebral complications suggesting different mechanisms of cerebral injury. Advanced age, preoperative hypertension, aortic surgery, prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) time, intraoperative hypotension after completion of CPB, and arrhytlunia in the early postoperative period increased the risk for early cerebral complication. Female gender, diabetes, previous cerebrovascular disease, combined coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and valve surgery and arrhythmia on the thoracic ward increased the risk for delayed cerebral complication. Cognitive function and driving performance were evaluated in 27 patients before and 4-6 weeks after CABG. The patients underwent neuropsychological testing, an on-road driving test and a test in an advanced driving simulator. Twenty patients scheduled for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) served as controls. Complete data were obtained in 23 and 19 patients respectively. Furthermore cognitive function and driving performance in on-road driving of the 44 patients with complete tests before intervention were compared with controls of similar age without heart symptoms. Cognitive function and driving performance were already impaired in patients with coronary artery disease before intervention when compared with controls. After surgery 48% of the patients showed cognjtive decline compared to 10% after PCI. These patients also scored less in the on-road driving test to a greater extent than did patients without postoperative cognitive decline.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2002. 83 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 736
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-27453 (URN)12106 (Local ID)91-7373-181-1 (ISBN)12106 (Archive number)12106 (OAI)
Public defence
2002-06-07, Elsa Brändströms salen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Ahlgren, Ewa
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