Short- and long-term cognitive declines after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass have been reported, but the frequency, severity, nature, and etiology of postoperative cognitive changes have been difficult to quantify. Current studies have corrected the principal methodological shortcoming of earlier studies by including control groups, and have shown that while early postoperative cognitive decline does occur in some patients, it is generally mild and reversible by 3 months after surgery. Late cognitive changes do occur, but comparison with patients undergoing off-pump surgery or those being treated medically suggests that these changes are not specific to CABG or more specifically to the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. (JINS, 2010, 16, 221–226.)
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