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Boston Naming Test as a Screening Tool for Early Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction in Elderly Patients After Major Noncardiac Surgery.

American Surgeon 2024 June 8
PURPOSE: The Boston naming test (BNT), as a simple, fast, and easily administered neuropsychological test, was demonstrated to be useful in detecting language function. In this study, BNT was investigated whether it could be a screening tool for early postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD).

METHODS: This prospective observational cohort study included 132 major noncardiac surgery patients and 81 nonsurgical controls. All participants underwent a mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and BNT 1 day before and 7 days after surgery. Early POCD was assessed by reliable change index and control group results.

RESULTS: Seven days after surgery, among 132 patients, POCD was detected in 30 (22.7%) patients (95% CI, 15.5%-30.0%) based on MMSE, and 45 (34.1%) patients (95% CI, 26.3%-41.9%) were found with postoperative language function decline based on BNT and MMSE. Agreement between the BNT spontaneous naming and MMSE total scoring was moderate (Kappa .523), and the sensitivity of BNT spontaneous naming for detecting early POCD was .767. Further analysis showed that areas under receiver operating characteristics curves (AUC) did not show statistically significant differences when BNT spontaneous naming (AUC .862) was compared with MMSE language functional subtests (AUC .889), or non-language functional subtests (AUC .933).

CONCLUSION: This study indicates the feasibility of implementing the BNT spontaneous naming test to screen early POCD in elderly patients after major noncardiac surgery.

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