ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
The relationship between aortic calcification on chest radiograph and neurocognitive impairment after coronary artery bypass grafting
Abdulkerim Özhan1, Murat Baştopcu2, Canan Karakaya1, Erhan Güler1, Sinan Şahin3, Mehmet Erdem Memetoğlu1, Bülend Ketenci1, Mahmut Murat Demirtaş1
1Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
2Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Tatvan State Hospital, Bitlis, Turkey
3Department of Radiology, Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2021.21285
Background: In this study, we aimed to investigate the possible relationship between aortic calcification as detected by preoperative chest radiography and postoperative neurocognitive impairment in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

Methods: A total of 124 patients (101 males, 23 females; mean age: 59.9±8.8 years; range, 34 to 84 years) who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting in our clinic between January 2019 and July 2019 were included. Of these patients, 35 whose preoperative chest radiography revealed aortic calcification in the aortic knuckle were included as the patient group. The control group consisted of 89 patients without aortic calcification. The patients with aortic calcification underwent additional imaging with thoracic computed tomography angiography and ascending aorta and aortic arch calcium scores were calculated. Neurocognitive dysfunction was assessed using the Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination. Postoperative delirium was evaluated by confusion assessment method in the intensive care unit. Both groups were compared for demographic, operative and postoperative data.

Results: Of all patients included in the study, the overall cerebrovascular event incidence was 3.2%. Although not statistically significant, the number of patients with neurocognitive decline was higher in the patient group than the control group (48.6% vs. 34.8%, respectively; p=0.157). Both Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination score decline and percentage decline were significantly higher in the patients with high aortic arch calcium scores (>2,250 AU). Carotid artery stenosis was 3.2 times higher in the patient group. In the patients with carotid artery stenosis, the aortic arch calcium scores were also higher (p=0.042).

Conclusion: Aortic calcification detectable on chest radiography with high calcium scores may be associated with neurocognitive impairment and carotid artery stenosis in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting.

Keywords : Aortic calcification, cardiac surgery, chest radiography, neurocognitive dysfunction
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