A new study has refuted speculations that bypass surgery causes cognitive decline, by showing that patients display no signs of cognitive impairment one year after Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery Grafting (CABG).
The study involved two groups of cardiac patients, wherein the first was referred for CABG and the second for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
The third group included a cohort of healthy control subjects similar to the cardiac patients in age and education.
"For those undergoing surgery, the idea that repairing their hearts could cause damage to their mental powers is very stressful," said Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, lead researcher, chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Co-Director of the Heart Center at Stony Brook.
"Now, as a result of this research, we can reassure our patients that this risk is insignificant," he added.
The surgical patients were again tested three weeks, four months and 12 months after surgery.
After careful statistical analysis the patients showed no clear pattern of change in cognitive function.
"Improvements in CABG surgical technique that have been introduced over the past decade may have resulted in better preservation of cognitive function after open heart surgery compared with earlier analyses," said the authors.
An article detailing the study was published in the January 2008 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.