aortic valve replacement, cognitive domain, cognitive screening test, coronary artery bypass grafting, postoperative cognitive dysfunction



  1. Perez-Belmonte, Luis M. MD, PhD
  2. Florido-Santiago, Mercedes MS
  3. Osuna-Sanchez, Julio MD
  4. Barbancho, Miguel A. MD, PhD
  5. Millan-Gomez, Mercedes MN
  6. Jimenez-Navarro, Manuel F. MD, PhD
  7. Bernal-Lopez, M. Rosa PhD
  8. Gomez-Huelgas, Ricardo MD, PhD
  9. Lara, Jose P. MD, PhD


Background: Although postoperative cognitive dysfunction is a relevant complication after surgery, assessment for the condition is not routine in clinical practice.


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the use of screening versus brief domain-specific cognitive tests in assessing long-term cognitive dysfunction after concomitant aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass grafting.


Methods: In this observational prospective study, we evaluated 70 patients preoperatively and after 1, 6, and 12 months using 2 screening tests (Mini-Mental State Examination and Clock Drawing Test) and 2 brief domain-specific cognitive tests (Trail Making Test to evaluate attention and executive function, and Semantic and Phonological Tests to evaluate verbal fluency).


Results: The brief domain-specific cognitive tests detected significant postoperative worsening in performances (up to 19% on the Trail Making Test and 15.4% on verbal fluency tests at 6 months). Postoperative mild attention/executive dysfunction or inferior normal performance was detected with the maximums being seen at 6 months (44.6%, P < .001). Performances on screening tests did not significantly change during the study period.


Conclusions: A brief domain-specific cognitive evaluation could be routinely implemented in perioperative care practice to detect postoperative cognitive dysfunction.