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Br J Anaesth. 2003 Dec;91(6):810-4.

Implicit memory formation in sedated ICU patients after cardiac surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Anaesthetics and Intensive Care, University of Auckland, Waikato Clinical School, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent research into memory formation under sedation has generated conflicting results. We investigated explicit and implicit memory in ICU patients during moderate to deep propofol sedation following cardiac surgery.

METHODS:

Two different methods of memory testing were used; (1). free-association (F-A) word-pair testing (n=33) to test conceptual implicit memory and (2). process dissociation procedure (PDP) (n=26) to detect perceptual implicit and explicit memory. One hour after surgery, whilst sedated, the F-A group received one of two lists of 10 category-exemplar word-pairs through headphones, while the PDP group was presented with one of two lists of 16 five-letter words. When awake and co-operative, the F-A group was tested using F-A testing, and the PDP group was tested using the PDP.

RESULTS:

The F-A group had a mean (SD) correct response rate of 7 (9)% for the target list, and 9 (8)% for the distractor list. The PDP group had a mean (SD) correct response rate of 11 (14) and 10 (13)% for the inclusion and exclusion lists, respectively, with mean correct response rates of 13 (14)% for both the corresponding distractor lists. Neither group showed any significant differences between their responses and a list of distractor words (Wilcoxon tests).

CONCLUSION:

We found no evidence for memory formation in post-cardiac surgery patients under moderate to deep propofol sedation.

PMID:
14633750
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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