Mechanisms of Cerebral Injury from Cardiac Surgery

Hogue C.W., Gottesman R.F., Stearns J.

Cerebral injury is a frequent complication of cardiac surgery and is associated with high morbidity, mortality, hospital costs and an impaired quality of life. This article examines the postulated mechanisms for cerebral injury after cardiac surgery. The primary cause of cerebral injury is ischaemia caused either by cerebral embolism or cerebral hypoperfusion. Potential factors thought to contribute to cerebral injury include; atherosclerosis of the aorta, lipid embolism from pericardial suction aspirate, cerebral hyperthermia, hyperglycaemia, peri-operative anaemia, atrial fibrillation, gentetic predisposition and off-pump CABG.

Critical Care Clinics 2008; 24: 83 – 98

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