Intraoperative hypotension is not associated with postoperative cognitive dysfunction in elderly patients undergoing general anesthesia for surgery: results of a randomized controlled pilot trial Journal Articles uri icon

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  • STUDY OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of different intraoperative blood pressure targets on the development of POCD and test the feasibility of a larger trial. DESIGN: Randomized controlled pilot trial. SETTING: Perioperative care in a tertiary care teaching hospital with outpatient follow-up. PATIENTS: One hundred one patients aged ≥75 years with ASA physical status <4, undergoing elective, non-cardiac surgery under general anesthesia and 33 age-matched healthy controls. INTERVENTIONS: Randomization to a personalized intraoperative blood pressure target, mean arterial pressure (MAP) ≥ 90% of preoperative values (Target group), or to a more liberal intraoperative blood pressure management (No-Target group). Strategies to reach intraoperative blood pressure target were at discretion of anesthesiologists. MEASUREMENTS: An experienced neuropsychologist performed a validated battery of neurocognitive tests preoperatively and 3 months after surgery. Incidence of POCD at three months and postoperative delirium were assessed. Intraoperative time spent with MAP ≥ 90% of preoperative values, recruitment and drop-out rate at 3 months were feasibility outcomes. MAIN RESULTS: The Target group spent a higher percentage of intraoperative time with MAP ≥90% of preoperative values (65 ± 25% vs. 49 ± 28%, p < 0.01). Incidence of POCD (11% vs. 7%, relative risk 1.52; 95% CI, 0.41 to 6.3; p = 0.56) and delirium (6% vs. 14%, relative risk, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.12 to 1.60; p = 0.21) did not differ between groups. No correlation was found between intraoperative hypotension and postoperative cognitive performance (p = 0.75) or delirium (p = 0.19). Recruitment rate was of 6 patients/month (95% confidential interval (CI), 5 to 7) and drop-out rate at 3 months was 24% (95% CI, 14 to 33%). CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative hypotension did not correlate with postoperative cognitive dysfunction or delirium occurrence in elderly patients undergoing general anesthesia for non-cardiac surgery. A multicenter randomized controlled trial is needed in order to confirm the effect of intraoperative blood pressure on the development of POCD. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:


  • Langer, Thomas
  • Santini, Alessandro
  • Zadek, Francesco
  • Chiodi, Manuela
  • Pugni, Paola
  • Cordolcini, Valentina
  • Bonanomi, Barbara
  • Rosini, Francesca
  • Marcucci, Maura
  • Valenza, Franco
  • Marenghi, Cristina
  • Inglese, Silvia
  • Pesenti, Antonio
  • Gattinoni, Luciano

publication date

  • February 2019