Heart surgeries can trigger a multitude of complications

November 15, 2010

Strokes, seizures and other neurological complications related to heart surgery account for "considerable morbidity and mortality," Loyola University Health System neurologists report in the November issue of the journal Hospital Practice.

Other complications include delirium, infections, pituitary gland problems, or peripheral nerve injuries, residual effects of anesthesia and medication .

Complications can involve any part of the central and peripheral nervous systems. "Neurologic complications are always a risk with , especially in older patients who have other health problems," said Dr. José Biller, first author of the article and chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Strokes are the most common neurologic complication after cardiac surgery in adults. In children, are the most common neurologic complication.

However, Biller said patients should not be afraid to undergo cardiac procedures. Many complications are rare. And despite the risks, cardiac surgeries generally "are highly beneficial and life-saving," he said.

Biller and colleagues summarized results of previously published studies. They examined neurologic complications related to cardiac catheterization exams, balloon angioplasties, ablation therapies for heart rhythm disorders, heart bypass surgeries, thoracic aortic surgeries, surgeries for congenital heart disease, cardiac valve surgeries, heart transplants, surgeries for heart tumors and procedures to close a hole in the heart called a patent foramen ovale.

"Neurologic complications remain an important cause of morbidity, hospitalization time and mortality following cardiac surgery and interventional cardiac procedures," Biller and his colleagues wrote. "Evaluation of these complications requires an orderly and systematic approach. Prompt identification of these deficits is key in planning appropriate evaluation and optimal management. Further research in this area is needed."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Increased air pollution linked to bad teenage behavior

December 13, 2017
A new study linking higher levels of air pollution to increased teenage delinquency is a reminder of the importance of clean air and the need for more foliage in urban spaces, a Keck School of Medicine of USC researcher said.

Study links health risks to electromagnetic field exposure

December 13, 2017
A study of real-world exposure to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields in pregnant women found a significantly higher rate of miscarriage, providing new evidence regarding their potential health risks. The Kaiser Permanente ...

175 years on, study finds where you live still determines your life expectancy

December 13, 2017
Research led by the University of Liverpool has revisited a study carried out 175 years ago which compared the health and life expectancy of people in different parts of the country, including Liverpool, to see if its findings ...

Postmenopausal women should still steer clear of HRT: task force

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Yet again, the nation's leading authority on preventive medicine says postmenopausal women should avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Will 'AI' be part of your health-care team?

December 12, 2017
(HealthDay)—Artificial intelligence is assuming a greater role in many walks of life, with research suggesting it may even help doctors diagnose disease.

State-level disclosure laws affect patients' eagerness to have their DNA tested

December 12, 2017
Different types of privacy laws in U.S. states produce markedly different effects on the willingness of patients to have genetic testing done, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT professor.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.