Postoperative cognitive dysfunction: A case report and literature review

Gurpreet Singh, Margaret M Cinicola, Naveen R Parva, John T Cinicola, Venkat G Muvva, Vinod K Nookala


Background: Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is loss of cognition especially in memory and executive function that can extend from a few days to a few weeks after surgery. It is more common in older adult patients. We present a case featuring a typical progression of POCD along with its associated preoperative risk factors.

Case report: A 65-year-old male patient with an extensive past medical history including generalized anxiety disorder, hypertension and hyperlipidemia initially presented to the emergency department for chest pain. Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) was performed under general anesthesia with Propofol, Fentanyl, Rocuronium and Midazolam. The patient tolerated the procedure well. After the procedure, his stay was complicated by delirium and altered mental status. All reversible causes were investigated and eliminated as likely causes. Later, the patient was sent home after a prolonged hospital stay. Following discharge, he had multiple admissions to the hospital for altered mental status, and his mental status has not reached baseline again. Family has been confident that the patient’s psychological and cognitive symptoms began following the CABG.

Conclusion: We present this case to highlight the heightened incidence of postoperative cognitive decline in patients over sixty undergoing major surgery. We also present a comprehensive review of the current literature on the risk factors, clinical manifestations, and pathogenesis of POCD.

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Case Reports in Internal Medicine

ISSN 2332-7243(Print)  ISSN 2332-7251(Online)

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