Objective: To undertake neuropsychologic testing within 18 hours of cardiac
surgery after fast-track anesthesia.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: University hospital, single center.
Participants: Fifty patients undergoing first-time elective coronary artery
Interventions: A neuropsychologic test battery was administered preoperativ
ely and 18 hours and 5 days after surgery.
Main Results: Seven patients were withdrawn, and 9 patients did not attempt
the postoperative tests (on both occasions) because of medical complicatio
ns. Thirty patients completed greater than or equal to4 tests at both posto
perative occasions. Of these, 9 patients (30%) showed a deficit in greater
than or equal to2 tests at 18 hours postoperatively, and 3 (10%) showed a d
eficit at 5 days postoperatively.
Conclusion: In the absence of medical complications and despite the difficu
lties, early postoperative neuropsychologic testing is possible after fast-
track anesthesia. Such testing has the potential to more clearly define the
course of cognitive decline after cardiac surgery. Copyright (C) 2001 by W
.B. Saunders Company.