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Perfusion. 2014 Mar;29(2):124-9. doi: 10.1177/0267659113497074. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Effects of intraoperative external head cooling on short-term cognitive function in patients after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

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  • 11The Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania.


The aim of study was to assess the effects of an intraoperative external head-cooling technique on cognitive dysfunction in the early postoperative period (at the 10th day) in patients after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Patients in Group H (n=25) were cooled with CPB and the intraoperative, external head-cooling technique, patients in Group C (n=25) were cooled only with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) to achieve mild hypothermia (33 - 34 °C). Cognitive function was analyzed before the operation and after the surgery using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Modified Visual Reproduction Test from the Wechsler Memory Scale, Trail Making (A/B), WAIS--Digit Span (WDS) and WAIS Digit Symbol Substitution Test (WDSST). The incidence of cognitive impairment at the 10th day after the surgery was 36% (n=9) in Group H and 64% (n=16) in Group C (p=0.048). The temperature during the aortic cross-clamp period was associated with a lower rate of cognitive dysfunction (p=0.05, r(2)=0.09). The intraoperative, external head-cooling technique during the aortic cross-clamp period has a neuroprotective effect and leads to less short-term cognitive function impairment after CABG surgery.


cardiopulmonary bypass; cognitive function; head cooling; hypothermia; neuroprotection

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