, Volume 471, Issue 12, pp 4027-4034
Date: 19 Apr 2013

Cerebral Desaturation During Shoulder Arthroscopy: A Prospective Observational Study

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



Patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in the beach chair position may be at increased risk for serious neurocognitive complications as a result of cerebral ischemia.


We sought to define the (1) incidence; (2) timing; and (3) magnitude of intraoperative cerebral desaturation events (CDEs) in subjects undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in the beach chair position, as well as whether (4) the length of surgery was an independent risk factor for intraoperative CDEs.


Regional cerebral tissue oxygen saturation (rSO2) was monitored intraoperatively using near-infrared spectroscopy on 51 consecutive patients undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in the beach chair position. Intraoperative decreases in rSO2 of 20% or greater were defined as CDEs.


The incidence of intraoperative CDEs in our series was 18% (nine of 51). Among the patients demonstrating CDE (n = 9), the mean time to onset of initial CDE was 18 minutes 38 seconds postinduction. Of those experiencing CDEs, the mean maximal decrease in rSO2 was 32% from preoperative baseline per patient. Additionally, the mean number of separate CDE instances was 1.89 in this patient population with an average duration of 3 minutes 3 seconds per instance. There was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.202) between patients demonstrating CDEs and those without in regard to length of surgery (95 versus 88 minutes).


The degree and duration of cerebral ischemia required to produce neurocognitive dysfunction in this patient population remains undefined; however, cerebral oximetry with near-infrared spectroscopy allows prompt identification and treatment of decreased cerebral perfusion. We believe protocols aimed at detecting and reversing CDE may improve patient safety.

Level of Evidence

Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

The Walgreen’s Foundation donated USD 5000.00 for this investigation. One or more of the authors (GM) is a consultant for Zimmer (Warsaw, IN, USA). One or more of the authors (PT) owns stock in Regeneration Technologies, Inc (Alachua, FL, USA).
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research neither advocates nor endorses the use of any treatment, drug, or device. Readers are encouraged to always seek additional information, including FDA-approval status, of any drug or device prior to clinical use.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.
A comment to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11999-013-3207-0.