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: Central nervous system (CNS) complications (disturbance of consciousness, focal motor deficits, and seizures) after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and cardiac valve surgery were studied retrospectively. The incidence of CNS complications was significantly more frequent in CABG (11%, 71/638) than in valve surgery (7%, 24/345). Major contributory factors of CNS complications were preexisting cerebrovascular disease and cardiopulmonary bypass time. In comparison to previous reports, older age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cerebrovascular disease were more common in the patients undergoing CABG. The preexisting cerebrovascular disease and prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass time probably increase the risk of cerebral embolism and/or cerebral hypoperfusion. We conclude that patients undergoing CABG surgery are at greater risk for neurological damage in comparison to those undergoing valve surgery.

(C) 1993 International Anesthesia Research Society