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European Journal of Anaesthesiology:
Original Article

Monitoring cerebral oxygen saturation in elderly patients undergoing general abdominal surgery: a prospective cohort study1

Casati, A.1; Fanelli, G.1; Pietropaoli, P.2; Proietti, R.3; Tufano, R.4; Montanini, S.5

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Background and objectives:: The aim of this prospective, observational study was to evaluate changes in regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rSO2) and incidence of intraoperative cerebral desaturation in a cohort of elderly patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.

Methods:: rSO2 was continuously monitored on the left and right sides of the forehead in 60 patients older than 65 yr (35 males and 25 females; ASA II–III; age: 72 ± 5 yr; without pre‐existing cerebral pathology, and baseline Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) score >23) undergoing sevoflurane anaesthesia for major abdominal, non‐vascular surgery >2 h.

Results:: Baseline rSO2 was 63 ± 8%; cerebral desaturation (rSO2 decrease <75% of baseline or <80% in case of baseline rSO2 <50%) occurred in 16 patients (26%). The MMSE decreased from 28 ± 1 before surgery to 27 ± 2 on 7th postoperative day (P = 0.05). A decline in cognitive function (decrease in MMSE score ≥ 2 points one week after surgery as compared to baseline value) was observed in six patients without intraoperative cerebral desaturation (13.6%) and six patients who had intraoperative cerebral desaturation (40%) (P = 0.057) (odds ratio: 4.22; CI95%: 1.1–16). Median (range) hospital stay was 14 (5–41) days in patients with an area under the curve of rSO2 <50% (AUCrSO2<50%) >10 min%, and 10 (4–30) days in those with an AUCrSO2<50% <10 min% (P = 0.0005).

Conclusions:: In a population of healthy elderly patients, undergoing non‐vascular abdominal surgery cerebral desaturation can occur in up to one in every four patients, and the occurrence of cerebral desaturation is associated with a higher incidence of early postoperative cognitive decline and longer hospital stay.

© 2007 European Society of Anaesthesiology


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