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Ann Thorac Surg. 1996 May;61(5):1423-7.

Cardiopulmonary bypass, rewarming, and central nervous system dysfunction.

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Department of Anaesthesia, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



During cardiopulmonary bypass a nasopharyngeal temperature greater than 38 degrees C at the end of rewarming may indicate cerebral hyperthermia. This could exacerbate an ischemic brain injury incurred during cardiopulmonary bypass.


In a cohort of 150 aortocoronary bypass patients neuropsychologic test scores of 66 patients whose rewarming temperature exceeded 38 degrees C were compared with those who did not. There were no differences between groups with respect to demographic and intraoperative variables.


A trend was seen for hyperthermic patients to do worse on all neuropsychologic tests in the early postoperative period but not at 3-month follow-up. By analysis of covariance hyperthermic patients did worse on the visual reproduction subtest of the Weschler memory scale at 3 months (p = 0.02), but this difference was not found by linear regression (p = 0.10).


We were unable to demonstrate any significant deterioration in patients rewarmed to greater than 38 degrees C in the early postoperative period. The poorer performance in the visual reproduction subtest of the Wechsler memory scale at 3 months in the group rewarmed to more than 38 degrees C is interesting but far from conclusive. Caution with rewarming is still advised pending more in-depth study of this issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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