Objective: The reasons for post-operative cognitive decline (POCD) remain largely unknown. Therefore, we determined the effect of cerebral artery stenosis on post-operative cognitive function in the elderly.
Methods: Eligible patients were between 60 and 80 years of age, and underwent elective, non-cardiac surgery at Beijing Friendship Hospital (Capital Medical University, Beijing, China) in 2013. Neuropsychological tests and transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) were performed in 120 subjects pre-operatively. According to the results of TCD, patients were consecutively enrolled into the following three groups: normal (Group I), sclerosis (Group II); and narrow (Group III). The diagnosis of POCD was based on the criteria of the International Study of Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (ISPOCD) group. Neuropsychological testing was repeated 7 days post-operatively.
Results: A total of 95 patients completed the post-operative assessment on day 7. The incidence of POCD in Groups I, II, and III was 16.2%, 27.5%, and 55.6%, respectively. The incidence of POCD was significantly higher in Group III than Group I. Logistic stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that the peri-operative risk factors for POCD were cerebral artery stenosis, the operative time, and time to awakening.
Conclusion: Cerebral artery stenosis may increase the incidence of POCD in the elderly.
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