The effect of anesthesia regimens on postoperative delirium after on-pump cardiac valve surgery is yet undetermined. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of volatile anesthesia compared with propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) on the occurrence of delirium after on-pump cardiac valve surgery.
This randomized clinical trial was conducted at a university academic hospital in China, from February 2019 to January 2021. Patients scheduled for on-pump cardiac valve surgery or combined valve with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgeries were randomly assigned to receive anesthesia maintenance with either a volatile anesthetic (sevoflurane or desflurane) or propofol-based TIVA. The primary outcome was the incidence of delirium during the first 7 days after surgery, assessed using the confusion assessment method for the intensive care unit (ICU). The secondary outcomes included duration of delirium, subtypes of delirium, 30-day mortality, pain score, major morbidity (including cerebral infarction, respiratory failure, and pneumonia), duration of mechanical ventilation, and lengths of ICU and hospital stay. The statistical analysis of the primary outcome variable was by Pearson’s χ2 test.
Among the 684 patients analyzed (mean age, 53.8 years; 381 [55.7%] women), 676 were assessed for the primary outcome. Postoperative delirium occurred in 63 of 337 (18.7%) patients receiving volatile anesthesia versus 76 of 339 (22.4%) patients receiving propofol-based TIVA (relative risk, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55–1.16; P = .231). There were no significant differences between the groups in any of the secondary outcomes.
Among patients undergoing on-pump cardiac valve surgery, anesthesia maintenance with a volatile agent did not result in significantly fewer occurrences of postoperative delirium than propofol-based TIVA.