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1.  Effect of age on intraoperative cerebrovascular autoregulation and near-infrared spectroscopy-derived cerebral oxygenation 
BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia  2011;107(5):742-748.
Background
Age is an important risk factor for perioperative cerebral complications such as stroke, postoperative cognitive dysfunction, and delirium. We explored the hypothesis that intraoperative cerebrovascular autoregulation is less efficient and brain tissue oxygenation lower in elderly patients, thus, increasing the vulnerability of elderly brains to systemic insults such as hypotension.
Methods
We monitored intraoperative cerebral perfusion in 50 patients aged 18–40 and 77 patients >65 yr at two Swiss university hospitals. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured continuously using a plethysmographic method. An index of cerebrovascular autoregulation (Mx) was calculated based on changes in transcranial Doppler flow velocity due to changes in MAP. Cerebral oxygenation was assessed by the tissue oxygenation index (TOI) using near-infrared spectroscopy. End-tidal CO2, O2, and sevoflurane concentrations and peripheral oxygen saturation were recorded continuously. Standardized anaesthesia was administered in all patients (thiopental, sevoflurane, fentanyl, atracurium).
Results
Autoregulation was less efficient in patients aged >65 yr [by 0.10 (se 0.04; P=0.020)] in a multivariable linear regression analysis. This difference was not attributable to differences in MAP, end-tidal CO2, or higher doses of sevoflurane. TOI was not significantly associated with age, sevoflurane dose, or Mx but increased with increasing flow velocity [by 0.09 (se 0.04; P=0.028)] and increasing MAP [by 0.11 (se 0.05; P=0.043)].
Conclusions
Our results do not support the hypothesis that older patients' brains are more vulnerable to systemic insults. The difference of autoregulation between the two groups was small and most likely clinically insignificant.
doi:10.1093/bja/aer252
PMCID: PMC3192482  PMID: 21835838
age groups; anaesthesia; cerebrovascular circulation
2.  Cerebral perfusion in sepsis-associated delirium 
Critical Care  2008;12(3):R63.
Introduction
The pathophysiology of sepsis-associated delirium is not completely understood and the data on cerebral perfusion in sepsis are conflicting. We tested the hypothesis that cerebral perfusion and selected serum markers of inflammation and delirium differ in septic patients with and without sepsis-associated delirium.
Methods
We investigated 23 adult patients with sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock with an extracranial focus of infection and no history of intracranial pathology. Patients were investigated after stabilisation within 48 hours after admission to the intensive care unit. Sepsis-associated delirium was diagnosed using the confusion assessment method for the intensive care unit. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), blood flow velocity (FV) in the middle cerebral artery using transcranial Doppler, and cerebral tissue oxygenation using near-infrared spectroscopy were monitored for 1 hour. An index of cerebrovascular autoregulation was calculated from MAP and FV data. C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), S-100β, and cortisol were measured during each data acquisition.
Results
Data from 16 patients, of whom 12 had sepsis-associated delirium, were analysed. There were no significant correlations or associations between MAP, cerebral blood FV, or tissue oxygenation and sepsis-associated delirium. However, we found a significant association between sepsis-associated delirium and disturbed autoregulation (P = 0.015). IL-6 did not differ between patients with and without sepsis-associated delirium, but we found a significant association between elevated CRP (P = 0.008), S-100β (P = 0.029), and cortisol (P = 0.011) and sepsis-associated delirium. Elevated CRP was significantly correlated with disturbed autoregulation (Spearman rho = 0.62, P = 0.010).
Conclusion
In this small group of patients, cerebral perfusion assessed with transcranial Doppler and near-infrared spectroscopy did not differ between patients with and without sepsis-associated delirium. However, the state of autoregulation differed between the two groups. This may be due to inflammation impeding cerebrovascular endothelial function. Further investigations defining the role of S-100β and cortisol in the diagnosis of sepsis-associated delirium are warranted.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00410111.
doi:10.1186/cc6891
PMCID: PMC2481444  PMID: 18457586

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