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Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) after cardiac and major non-cardiac surgery.

Slagter, P. (2013) Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) after cardiac and major non-cardiac surgery. Master's Thesis / Essay, Biology.

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Introduction Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is predominantly seen in the elderly and is defined as persistent cognitive decline following surgery in one or more cognitive domains. The most important risk factor for developing POCD seems to be the severity of surgery, with a high rate of occurrence after cardiac surgery. The exact mechanisms underlying POCD are still unclear. But lately, the focus has shifted towards the inflammation hypothesis. The aim of this study is to investigate cognitive performance, mood and changes at protein level in the brains of rats after different types of surgery. Methods To test this we divided male Wistar rats in 6 different groups; control, anesthesia, jugular vein catheterization, abdominal surgery, induced myocardial infarction and thorax surgery. One week after their surgery the animals were subjected to several behavioral and cognitive tests; sucrose preference test, open field, novel object/location recognition and Morris water maze. After the tests the animals were sacrificed and their brains and hearths were removed for further analysis. Results We saw only a significant difference in the sucrose preference test, in which the animals that received a jugular vein cannula drank significantly less sucrose water compared to the control group. For all the other tests we saw no significant differences. Conclusion & Discussion The results from the sucrose preference test indicate that the animals that received a cannula experience depressive like behavior. Since the other tests showed no significant differences, it seems that the surgeries do not affect other forms of behavior nor do they affect short or long term memory. A possible explanation for our lack of significant results is that our surgeries were not severe enough. It is also possible that the animals did not develop POCD, although their surgeries were severe enough, as in humans not every elderly patient that undergoes a severe surgery develops POCD. A third explanation involves the age of the animals, our animals were quite young, whereas POCD is mainly seen in the elderly. Finally, the number people reporting cognitive dysfunction declines over time. So, it might be that we tested the animals too long after the surgeries and that they had already recovered from their POCD.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:55
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:55

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