The association of preoperative anxiety and depression with neurocognitive disorder following oncological surgery
January 12, 2020
Citation: J Surg Oncol. 2020 Jan 12 [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND The proposed underlying mechanisms of anxiety and depression, and of postoperative neurocognitive disorder (NCD), each include immune system involvement. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate the incidence of postoperative NCD 3 months after surgery among oncological patients undergoing surgery and to evaluate the role of preoperative anxiety and depression.
METHOD A consecutive series of patients (age ≥ 18 years) undergoing surgery for the removal of solid tumors were included (n = 218). Cognitive performance was assessed preoperatively and at 3 months postoperatively. Preoperative anxiety and depression were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
RESULTS NCD affected 12.3% of elderly patients (age ≥ 70 years, n = 57) at 3 months after surgery, with executive function mostly affected. By contrast, 8.4% of younger patients (age < 70 years, n = 107) were affected, with information processing speed mostly affected. Low educational attainment was a risk factor (OR, 6.0; 95% CI, 1.9-19.0) of overall NCD, whereas preoperative anxiety was associated with decline in the domain of executive function.
CONCLUSION Postoperative NCD is a complication of oncological surgery for all adults instead of the elderly only. Preoperative anxiety was associated with an increased risk of executive function decline, and low educational attainment was a key factor for overall NCD.