Brain Fog: Are Clearer Skies on the Horizon? A Review of Perioperative Neurocognitive Disorders

  • S. Saxena
  • A. Joosten
  • M. MazeEmail author
Part of the Annual Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (AUICEM)


Postoperative cognitive decline is a complication in which a typically elderly surgical patient inadvertently substitutes one illness for another. The change in cognitive performance can be defined by postoperative deterioration in completing neuropsychological tests and requires preoperative testing and testing after the surgical intervention. Unlike postoperative delirium, an acute onset of cognitive impairment in which no preoperative testing is required to make the postoperative diagnosis, postoperative cognitive decline is defined by a significant deterioration from the patient’s preoperative capabilities. As formal preoperative neurocognitive testing is not the current standard of clinical care, postoperative cognitive decline and its sequelae, are currently under-reported [1].


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Cerebrovascular Research, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma CenterUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia, Erasme University HospitalUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesia and Intensive CareHôpitaux Universitaires Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Hôpital De Bicêtre, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP)Le Kremlin-BicêtreFrance

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