Current Neurologic Assessment and Neuroprotective Strategies in Cardiac Anesthesia: A Survey to the Membership of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists

Martin Krause, Joseph E. Morabito, G. Burkhard Mackensen, Tjörvi E. Perry, Karsten Bartels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Neurologic injury and cognitive disorder after cardiac surgery are associated with morbidity and mortality. Variability in the application of neuroprotective strategies likely exists during cardiac surgery. The Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) conducted a survey among its members on common perioperative neuroprotective strategies: assessment of aortic atheromatous burden, management of intraoperative blood pressure, and use of cerebral oximetry. METHODS: A 15-item survey was developed by 3 members of the SCA Continuous Practice Improvement-Cerebral Protection Working Group. The questionnaire was then circulated among all working group members, adapted, and tested for face validity. On March 26, 2018, the survey was sent to members of the SCA via e-mail using the Research Electronic Data Capture system. Responses were recorded until April 16, 2018. RESULTS: Of the 3645 surveys e-mailed, 526 members responded (14.4%). Most responders worked in academic institutions (58.3%), followed by private practices (38.7%). Epiaortic ultrasound for the assessment of aortic atheromatous burden was most commonly utilized at the surgeon's request (46.5%). Cerebral oximetry was most commonly used in patients with increased perioperative risk of cerebral injury (41.4%). Epiaortic ultrasound (1.9%) and cerebral oximetry (5.2%) were rarely part of a standardized monitoring approach. A majority of respondents (52.0%) reported no standardized management strategies for neuroprotection during cardiac surgery at their institution. A total of 55.3% stated that no standardized institutional guidelines were in place for managing a patient's blood pressure intraoperatively or during cardiopulmonary bypass. When asked about patients at risk for postoperative cerebral injury, 41.3% targeted a blood pressure goal >65 mmHg during cardiopulmonary bypass. The majority of responders (60.4%) who had access to institutional rates of postoperative stroke/cerebral injury had standard neuroprotective strategies in place. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that approximately half of the respondents to this SCA survey do not use standardized guidelines/standard operating procedures for perioperative cerebral protection. The lack of standardized neuroprotective strategies during cardiac surgery may impact postoperative neurologic outcomes. Further investigations are warranted and should assess the association of standardized neuroprotective approaches and postoperative neurological outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-526
Number of pages9
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

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Copyright © 2019 International Anesthesia Research Society.


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