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J Psychosom Res. 2010 Aug;69(2):179-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2010.02.009. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Incidence and predictors of delirium after cardiac surgery: Results from The IPDACS Study.

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  • 1Department of Old Age Psychiatry and Psychotic Disorders, Medical University of Lodz, Poland.



Delirium after cardiac surgery is a serious complication that results in higher morbidity and mortality rates, and prolongs hospitalisation. However, the knowledge base regarding the issue of postoperative delirium is still limited. Therefore, in the current study, we evaluated the incidence and independent perioperative risk factors of delirium after cardiac surgery.


The IPDACS Study recruited 563 consecutive patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. The subjects were preoperatively examined by psychiatrists using the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview to assess psychiatric comorbidity. Additionally, other variables connected to the patients' medical condition and surgical and anaesthetic procedures were evaluated. A diagnosis of delirium following surgical intervention was based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria.


The incidence of postoperative delirium according to DSM-IV criteria was 16.3% (95% confidence interval: 13.5-19.6). Multivariate stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that advanced age, preoperative cognitive impairment, an ongoing episode of major depression, anaemia, atrial fibrillation, prolonged intubation and postoperative hypoxia were independently associated with delirium after cardiac surgery.


According to the current analysis, the aforementioned conditions independently predispose to delirium following cardiac surgery. Since some of these factors can be successfully treated and eliminated preoperatively and postoperatively, this study should be helpful in reducing the risk of delirium and in improving the medical care of patients undergoing cardiac surgery (Clinical Trials Identifier: NCT00784576).

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