Cerebral blood flow MRI in the nondemented elderly is not predictive of post-operative delirium but is correlated with cognitive performance

Citation:

Tammy T Hshieh, Weiying Dai, Michele Cavallari, Charles RG Guttmann, Dominik S Meier, Eva M Schmitt, Bradford C Dickerson, Daniel Z Press, Edward R Marcantonio, Richard N Jones, Yun Ray Gou, Thomas G Travison, Tamara G Fong, Long Ngo, Sharon K Inouye, and David C Alsop. 2017. “Cerebral blood flow MRI in the nondemented elderly is not predictive of post-operative delirium but is correlated with cognitive performance.” J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, 37, 4, Pp. 1386-1397.

Abstract:

Three-dimensional Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL) MRI was performed before surgery in a cohort of 146 prospectively enrolled subjects ≥ 70 years old scheduled to undergo elective surgery. We investigated the prospective association between ASL-derived measures of cerebral blood flow (CBF) before surgery with postoperative delirium incidence and severity using whole-brain and globally normalized voxel-wise analysis. We also investigated the cross-sectional association of CBF with patients' baseline performance on specific neuropsychological tests, and with a composite general cognitive performance measure (GCP). Out of 146 subjects, 32 (22%) developed delirium. We found no significant association between global and voxel-wise CBF with delirium incidence or severity. We found the most significant positive associations between CBF of the posterior cingulate and precuneus and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test - Revised total score, Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) score and the GCP composite. VSAT score was also strongly associated with right parietal lobe CBF. ASL can be employed in a large, well-characterized older cohort to examine associations between CBF and age-related cognitive performance. Although ASL CBF measures in regions previously associated with preclinical Alzheimer's Disease were correlated with cognition, they were not found to be indicators of baseline pathology that may increase risk for delirium.