BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Intra-operative cerebral microembolism may be a factor in the etiology of cognitive decline after orthopedic surgery. We here examine the impact of intra-operative microembolism on cognitive dysfunction after hip and knee replacement surgery. METHODS - We enrolled 24 patients, at least 65 years old, requiring elective knee or hip replacement surgery. A transcranial Doppler shunt study was done to determine study eligibility so that the final study population consisted of 12 consecutive patients with and 12 consecutive patients without a venous-arterial shunt. A standard neuropsychological test battery was administered before surgery, at hospital discharge and 3 months after surgery. All patients were monitored intra-operatively for microemboli. Quality of life data were assessed at 1 year. RESULTS - The mean age of patients was 74 years. All patients had intra-operative microemboli. The mean number of emboli was 9.9±18. Cognitive decline was present in 18/22 (75%) at discharge and in 10/22 (45%) at 3 months, despite improved quality of life measures. There was no correlation between cognitive decline and intra-operative microembolism. CONCLUSION - Cognitive decline was seen frequently after hip and knee surgery. Intra-operative microembolism occurred universally but did not significantly influence postoperative cognition. Quality of life and functional outcome demonstrated improvement in all cases in spite of cognitive dysfunction.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - Mar 2007|
- Fat embolism
- Postoperative cognitive decline
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine