The effect of preoperative acute pain on postoperative delirium

Takeaway

  • Preoperative acute pain and increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were associated with postoperative delirium (POD), while old age and illiteracy were identified as independent risk factors for POD.

Why this matters

  • POD, a state of acute cerebral dysfunction, is a common postoperative complication, which is thought to occur within 2 to 7 days after surgery.

  • Evidence from preclinical studies shows significant effects of pain on cognitive and memory functions but few clinical studies have investigated the association between preoperative pain and delirium.

  • This study provided evidence for the effect of preoperative acute pain and elevated CRP levels on POD and also found that advanced age and illiteracy are independent risk factors for POD. These findings may help physicians to identify patients at high risk of delirium.