Cognitive function impairment is one of the most common complications in elderly patients after surgery, and an ideal nonpharmacological therapy has not yet been identified. Thus, we hypothesized that remote ischemic preconditioning could improve cognitive functions in elderly patients after surgery and investigated the mechanism underlying this effect.Methods:
Ninety patients classified as American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) physical status of 2 or 3 and aged 65 to 75 years who were scheduled for elective colon surgery under general anesthesia were randomly allocated to either a remote ischemic preconditioning group (Group R, n = 45) or a control group (Group C, n = 45). Remote ischemic preconditioning was performed by applying a static pressure of 200 mm Hg with a blood pressure cuff wrapped around the right upper limb for 3 ischemia cycles of 5 minutes each.Results:
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores between the 2 groups were not significantly different on the day before surgery or the seventh day after surgery, but the scores on the first day after surgery (26.87 ± 0.84 vs 25.96 ± 0.85, P < .001) and third day after surgery (27.49 ± 0.66 vs 27.02 ± 0.92, P = .009) were significantly higher for Group R than those for Group C. Moreover, remote ischemic preconditioning markedly decreased the serum concentrations of the interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and S100B proteins compared with the control group (P < .001).Conclusion:
Remote ischemic preconditioning improves postoperative cognitive function in elderly patients following colon surgery. The cognitive protective effects of remote ischemic preconditioning are partially related to the inhibition of inflammation.