High Risk of Cognitive and Functional Decline after Postoperative Delirium

Department of Psychiatry, Technische Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany.
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.55). 07/2008; 26(1):26-31. DOI: 10.1159/000140804
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to investigate the association of postoperative delirium with the outcomes of cognitive impairment, functional disability and death.
Hip surgery patients aged 60 years or over (n = 200) underwent preoperative and daily postoperative assessment of their cognitive status during hospital stay. Outcome variables were determined at an average of 8 and 38 months after discharge from hospital.
Fourty-one patients developed postoperative delirium. Delirium was a strong independent predictor of cognitive impairment and the occurrence of severe dependency in activities of daily living. The associations were more marked for the long- than for the short-term outcome. Thirty-eight months after discharge from hospital, 53.8% of the surviving patients with postoperative delirium suffered from cognitive impairment, as compared to only 4.4% of the nondelirious participants. Logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, medical comorbidity and preoperative cognitive performance revealed highly significant associations between delirium and cognitive impairment (OR = 41.2; 95% CI = 4.3-396.2), subjective memory decline (OR = 6.2; 95% CI = 1.5-25.8) and incident need for long-term care (OR = 5.6; 95% CI = 1.6-19.7).
The present study confirms a poor prognosis after delirium in elderly patients. The findings suggest that delirium does not simply persist for a certain time but also predicts a future cognitive decline with an increased risk of dementia.

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    • "Studies have shown that the number of patients with Alzheimer's disease who experience delirium varies from 22% to 89% in community-based and hospitalized populations [3]. After experiencing delirium, patients with pre-existing cognitive impairment can experience a significant decline in both functional and cognitive abilities [4] [5] that affects selfmaintenance and independent living. Therefore, pharmacological interventions that aim to prevent or decrease the severity of delirium symptoms are important for preventing the sequelae of delirium. "
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    ABSTRACT: Representation of hospitalized patients with pre-existing cognitive impairment in pharmaceutical delirium trials is important because these patients are at high risk for developing delirium. The aim of this systematic review is to investigate whether patients with cognitive impairment were included in studies on pharmacological prophylaxis or treatment of delirium and to explore the motivations for their exclusion (if they were excluded). This study was a systematic review. A MEDLINE search was performed for publications dated from 1 January 1985 to 15 November 2012. Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials that investigated medication to prevent or treat delirium were included. The number of patients with cognitive impairment was counted, and if they were excluded, motivations were noted. The search yielded 4293 hits, ultimately resulting in 31 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Of these, five studies explicitly mentioned the percentage of patients with cognitive impairment that were included. These patients comprised a total of 8% (n=279 patients) of the 3476 patients included in all 31 studies. Ten studies might have included cognitively impaired patients but did not mention the exact percentage, and sixteen studies excluded all patients with cognitive impairment. The motivations for exclusion varied, but most were related to the influence of dementia on delirium. The exclusion of patients with pre-existing cognitive impairment hampers the generalizability of the results of these trials and leaves clinicians with limited evidence about the pharmacological treatment of this group of vulnerable patients who have an increased risk of side effects.
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    • "© 2010 – IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved term outcome, including increased morbidity, mortality , length of hospital stay, increased associated healthcare costs, long-term cognitive impairment, and further decline beyond 12 months [1] [2] [3] [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Post-operative cognitive complications such as delirium have been consistently associated with poor short and long term outcomes, and the role of anesthesia, particularly the role of general versus regional anesthesia, remains unclear. The objective of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to compare the influence of general, regional, or a combination of anesthesia on the development of Post-Operative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD) and Post-Operative Delirium (POD). Standard bibliographic databases were searched and complimented by hand searching of original and review article references. Included studies were randomized controlled trials comparing general to regional (spinal, epidural, or intravenous block) or a combination of these in a cohort who were pre-operatively cognitively normal and had an average age exceeding fifty. Where POD was the principle outcome, studies must have employed the DSM or ICD criteria. Where POCD was the principal outcome, this was defined as any objective cognitive impairment. Twenty one studies were considered suitable for inclusion. There was no effect of anesthesia type on the odds ratio of developing POD (0.88, 0.51-1.51 with 95% confidence) however general anesthesia was marginally non-significantly associated with POCD (odds ratio of 1.34, 0.93-1.95 with 95% confidence). There was no evidence of publication bias. In conclusion, it appears that general anesthesia, compared to others, may increase the risk of developing POCD; however this has not been shown for POD. Possible reasons for this finding have been explored. This data would advocate for the use of regional anesthesia wherever possible especially in people otherwise vulnerable to developing cognitive symptoms.
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