Incidence and risk factors for delirium and other adverse outcomes in older adults after coronary artery bypass graft surgery

Can J Cardiol. 1999 Jul;15(7):771-6.


Objective: To determine the incidence and risk factors for delirium after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Setting: Cardiac surgery units of a tertiary care hospital.

Participants: Consecutive patients over age 65 years undergoing elective CABG surgery. Exclusion criteria included preoperative sensory or language barriers.

Interventions: Each patient was assessed within 24 h before surgery for baseline demographic, medical and functional data. Incident delirium (within four postoperative days) was diagnosed by a study physician. Nine potential risk factors for delirium were subjected to univariate and multivariate analysis.

Main results: Of 75 consenting patients, three died during or soon after surgery and one was still comatose at follow-up. Of the remaining 71 participants, 23 (32%) experienced delirium. Those with delirium were more likely than those without delirium to have a history of a stroke (21% versus 4%, respectively, P=0.032) and to have had a longer duration of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) (113 mins versus 95 mins, respectively, P=0.025). A tendency to have experienced low cardiac output (83% versus 58%, respectively, P=0.061) postoperatively was also noted. Multivariate analysis confirmed past stroke and duration of cardiopulmonary bypass as risk factors.

Conclusions: Delirium in the elderly after CABG surgery is common. Its occurrence may be predisposed by a history of a stroke and precipitated by a longer duration of CPB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Disease / surgery*
  • Delirium / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors