Targeted temperature management in cardiac surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis on postoperative cognitive outcomes

Federico Linassi, Eleonora Maran, Alessandro De Laurenzis, Paola Tellaroli, Matthias Kreuzer, Gerhard Schneider, Paolo Navalesi, Michele Carron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Postoperative cognitive decline occurs commonly after cardiac surgery. The available literature is inconclusive on the role of intraoperative causal or protective factors. Methods: We systematically reviewed studies evaluating delayed neurocognitive recovery (DNR), postoperative neurocognitive disorder (NCD), stroke, and the mortality rates among patients undergoing hypothermic or normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). We further performed a subgroup analysis for age, surgery type (coronary artery bypass grafting [CABG], valve surgery, or combined), and the mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) during CPB, and conducted a proportion meta-analysis after calculation of single proportions and confidence intervals (CIs). Results: We included a total of 58 studies with 9609 patients in our analysis. Among these, 1906 of 4010 patients (47.5%) had DNR, and 2071 of 7160 (28.9%) had postoperative NCD. Ninety of 4625 patients (2.0%) had a stroke, and 174 of 7589 (2.3%) died. There was no statistically significant relationship between the considered variables and DNR, NCD, stroke, and mortality. In the subgroup analysis comparing hypothermic with normothermic CPB, we found higher NCD rates after combined surgery; for normothermic CPB cases only, the rates of DNR and NCD were lower after combined surgery compared with CABG surgery. A MAP >70 mm Hg compared with MAP=50–70 mm Hg during CPB was associated with a lower rate of DNR. Conclusions: Temperature, MAP during cardiopulmonary bypass age, and surgery type were not associated with neurocognitive disorders, stroke, and mortality in cardiac surgery. Normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, particularly when performed with MAP >70 mm Hg, may reduce the risk of postoperative neurocognitive decline after cardiac surgery. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019140844.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-25
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac surgery
  • hypoperfusion
  • postoperative cognitive dysfunction
  • stroke
  • targeted temperature management


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