June 26, 2024

Study finds no link between anesthesia dose, postop delirium

Editor's Note

Higher doses of anesthesia did not affect risk of postoperative delirium in a study of more than 1,000 heart surgery patients, according to a June 10 United Press International (UPI) article on study findings published in JAMA.

The research included 1,140 heart surgery patients, half of whom had anesthesia adjusted based on EEG monitoring. This group received 20% less anesthesia and had 66% less brain activity suppression but had similar delirium rates and outcomes compared to the control group. For both groups, rates of delirium were about 18% in the first 5 days after surgery. Both also had similar complication rates, hospital stay lengths, and risks of premature death 1 year after surgery.

Postoperative delirium contributes to cognitive decline, the report notes. Additionally, previous smaller studies have suggested that too much anesthesia could cause postoperative delirium. However, these results indicate concerns about anesthesia causing cognitive disorders are unfounded—a reassurance that could help older adults make informed decisions about essential surgery. Also, anesthesiologists can be more confident in administering doses sufficient to prevent intraoperative awareness, which can lead to lifelong trauma.


Join our community

Learn More
Video Spotlight
Live chat by BoldChat