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Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 Aug;78(2):513-8; discussion 518-9.

Neurocognitive deficit following coronary artery bypass grafting: a prospective study of surgical patients and nonsurgical controls.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



To objectively measure long-term neurocognitive deficit in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting and compare the findings with nonsurgical controls.


We prospectively measured neurocognitive function in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) with cardiopulmonary bypass (n = 104; mean age 64.1 years old; EuroSCORE 2.7 [means]). A cohort of age- and sex-matched patients (n = 80; mean age 63.4 years old) served as nonsurgical controls. After CABG, neurocognitive function was serially reevaluated at 7-day (n = 104), 4-month (n = 100), and 3-year follow-up (n = 88). Neurocognitive function was objectively measured by means of cognitive P300 evoked potentials. Additionally, standard psychometric tests were performed (Trailmaking Test A, Mini Mental State Examination).


As compared to preoperative measures (364 +/- 36 ms), cognitive P300 evoked potentials were prolonged (=impaired) at 7-day (381 +/- 36 ms; p = 0.001), 4-month (378 +/- 31 ms; p = 0.08), and 3-year follow-up (379 +/- 35 ms; p = 0.002), respectively. Trailmaking Test A was abnormal, as compared to preoperative, at 3-year follow-up (p < 0.001). Before the operation, surgical patients were fully comparable in P300 measures to nonsurgical controls (363 +/- 32 ms; p = 0.362). Most importantly, throughout the entire postoperative follow-up cognitive measures in surgical patients were prolonged (=impaired) as compared with controls (7-day p = 0.001; 4-month p = 0.002 and 3-year p = 0.003, respectively). In stepwise multivariate regression analysis, neurocognitive deficit at 4-month follow-up (p < 0.001), age (p = 0.012), and persistent atrial fibrillation (p = 0.024) were predictive for long-term neurocognitive deficit at 3-year follow-up.


As shown by means of objective measures, and in comparison to nonsurgical controls, coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass grafting causes long-term neurocognitive deficit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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