Cerebral Outcome After Open Heart Surgery: A Long-term Multidimensional Follow-up of Valvular Replacement Patients

  • K. Sotaniemi
Conference paper


Due to improvement in surgical and anesthesiological techniques and in perfusion equipment during the past two decades, severe cerebral complications related to open-heart surgery have become rare [17]. Despite all advances, however, central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction is still one of the major threats in connection with cardiac operations. Depending on methodological differences, the incidence of CNS dysfunction has usually varied from 23% to 53% [4, 16, 22, 31, 32] in prospective studies carried out by neurologists after valvular replacement surgery, while considerably lower values have been reported in retrospective studies and in studies performed by nonneurologists. Thus far, the lowest reported incidence of clinical signs of CNS dysfunction complicating valvular surgery is 23% [16] when studies applying properly designed neurological assessments are considered. Tenfold differences between neurological and surgical evaluations of the CNS outcome have been reported [27]. Cerebral disorders are not limited to valvular operations; a recent prospective study on coronary artery bypass surgery [21] revealed neurological complications in 64% of the patients 24 h after the operation.


Neuropsychological Performance Perfusion Time Central Nervous System Complication Cerebral Disorder Syncopic Attack 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • K. Sotaniemi

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