Neurocognitive and Psychiatric Issues Post Cardiac Surgery

Heart Lung Circ. 2017 Aug;26(8):779-785. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2016.12.010. Epub 2017 Feb 6.


Neurocognitive and psychiatric complications are common following cardiac surgery and impact on patient quality of life, recovery from surgery, participation in rehabilitation and long-term mortality. Postoperative cognitive decline, depressive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and neurocognitive impairment related to silent brain infarcts have all been linked to the perioperative period of cardiac surgery, and potentially have serious consequences. The accurate assessment of these conditions, particularly in determining the aetiology, and impact on patients is difficult due to the poorly recognised nature of these complications as well as similarities in presentation with postoperative delirium. This review aims to summarise current understanding surrounding psychiatric disturbances following cardiac surgery including the impact on patient quality of life and long-term outcomes.

Keywords: Cardiac surgical procedures; Mental disorders; Neuropsychiatry; Postoperative cognitive dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / psychology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / rehabilitation
  • Delirium* / etiology
  • Delirium* / psychology
  • Delirium* / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / etiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / rehabilitation