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BACKGROUND: Neurological and/or neuropsychological damages are important complications of cardiosurgical interventions. This study determined if the timing of the electroretinographic (ERG) ocular exam can assess intraoperative brain damage of patients supported by extracorporeal circulation (ECC) during cardiosurgical interventions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors illustrate an ERG technique being able to evaluate on 12 patients during cardiosurgical interventions and in conditions of ECC, both hypothermic and normothermic, the possibility to forecast the potential neurological and/or neuropsychological damages. RESULTS: The ERG waves obtained are compared before and after ECC in various conditions of corporeal temperature. During ECC all patients had a change of ERG waves, whom was particularly significant for patients operated in conditions of induced hypothermia.
CONCLUSIONS: The observations reported by ERG provide new and important information in support of the potential organic suffering. This exam can assess the defect of the waves indicative of insufficient ocular and brain perfusion of patients supported by ECC during cardiosurgical interventions.