Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is a severe long-term complication after surgical procedures. POCD is mainly seen among geriatric patients. Hospitalization, extent of surgery, and systemic inflammatory response might contribute to POCD. The possible influence of the type of anesthesia is discussed. POCD is often not recognized; thus, incidence rates are likely to be underestimated (19-40%). POCD is associated with major consequences for the individual patient, e. g., delayed long-term recovery, reduced quality of life, and an increased mortality rate. Multiple risk factors have been identified over the last decade. However, the exact etiology is still unknown. This mini-review summarizes the recent developments concerning POCD prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

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Zeitschrift fur Gerontologie und Geriatrie
Department of Anesthesiology

Hartholt, K., van der Cammen, T., & Klimek, M. (2012). Postoperative cognitive dysfunction in geriatric patients. Zeitschrift fur Gerontologie und Geriatrie (Vol. 45, pp. 411–416). doi:10.1007/s00391-012-0326-2