Created May 25, 2015, last updated 9 months ago.
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The association of anesthesia in the sitting beach-chair position with intra-operative stroke, continues to be controversial. Although some studies have identified this as a risk, it is still a rare complication, albeit devastating.
Expert opinion suggests intra-arterial blood pressure monitoring is best practice, but most importantly with consideration for actual cerebral perfusion pressure given the sitting position.
Some research suggests regional anaesthesia, possibly combined with spontaneous ventilation GA (rather than relaxation GA with IPPV) offers unique benefits that better maintain cerebral oxygenation, although the exact difference is unclear.
Similarly, the benefit and role of non-invasive cerebral perfusion monitoring has not been conclusively shown, although it appears logical that it may offer benefit in these patients.
Case studies of patients suffering cerebral ischaemia under beach-chair, do point to combinations of poor intra-operative blood pressure management and possibly pre-existing mild cardiovascular disease (eg. hypertension) as contributing to some degree.
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A small number of highly publicized case reports describe ischemic brain or spinal cord injury after surgery in the sitting ("beach chair") position. The incidence of such catastrophic outcomes remains unknown, as does the relationship between arterial blood pressure management and injury, because few hemodynamic details were included with those 4 cases. To add quantitative data to the discussion of anesthesia in the sitting position, we examined the detailed hemodynamics of a large number of patients managed at our institution who sustained no similar catastrophic outcomes. ⋯ This study provides a descriptive summary of intraoperative blood pressure changes, measured either invasively or noninvasively, and referenced to either head or heart level, but never lower than heart level, in patients under general anesthesia in the sitting position who sustained no catastrophic outcomes.
Review Case Reports Comparative Study
Despite frequent incidence of hypotension, no cases of stroke were observed in this audit of 4,169 shoulder surgeries performed in the beach-chair position. Notably though, 97% of the cases were performed under brachial plexus block with intravenous sedation rather than a general or relaxant technique.
The authors estimate the upper limit incidence of stroke in the sitting position under regional anaesthesia as 1 in 1,429 (0.07%).summary
Randomized Controlled Trial
Surgery in the beach chair position (BCP) may reduce cerebral blood flow and oxygenation, resulting in neurological injuries. The authors tested the hypothesis that a ventilation strategy designed to achieve end-tidal carbon dioxide (E'(CO₂)) values of 40-42 mm Hg would increase cerebral oxygenation (Sct(O₂)) during BCP shoulder surgery compared with a ventilation strategy designed to achieve E'(CO₂) values of 30-32 mm Hg. ⋯ ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01546636.
During shoulder surgery, patients typically are placed in the beach chair position. In rare cases, this positioning has resulted in devastating outcomes of postoperative cerebral ischemia (Cullen and Kirby in APSF Newsl 22(2):25-27, 2007; Munis in APSF Newsl 22(4):82-83, 2008). This study presents a method to noninvasively and continuously hemodynamically monitor patients during beach chair positioning by using the photoplethysmograph signal recorded from a commercial pulse oximeter. ⋯ The PPG was more accurate at monitoring the change to beach chair position than blood pressure or heart rate. With vasoactive drugs, pulse-associated PPG oscillations decreased only with phenylephrine while respiration-associated oscillations did not change. Frequency domain analysis of the PPG signal may be a better tool than traditional noninvasive hemodynamic parameters at monitoring patients during beach chair position surgery.
Although controversial, failing to consider the gravitational effects of head elevation on cerebral perfusion is speculated to increase susceptibility to rare, but devastating, neurologic complications after shoulder surgery in the beach chair position (BCP). We hypothesized that patients in the BCP have diminished cerebral blood flow autoregulation than those who undergo surgery in the lateral decubitus position (LDP). A secondary aim was to examine whether there is a relationship between patient positioning during surgery and postoperative cognition or serum brain injury biomarker levels. ⋯ : Compared with patients in the LDP, patients undergoing shoulder surgery in the BCP are more likely to have higher COx indicating diminished cerebral autoregulation and lower rScO2. There were no differences in the composite cognitive outcome between the BCP and the LDP groups after surgery after accounting for baseline Z-score.
Since hypotension in beach chair position (BCP) can lead to catastrophic neurologic complications, the prediction of hypotension is a matter of concern in the BCP under general anesthesia. We investigated whether pre-induction values of mean arterial pressure (MAP), stroke volume variation (SVV), cardiac index (CI), and stroke volume index (SVI) can predict hypotension in BCP during general anesthesia. Forty healthy adult patients, aged 18-65 years, undergoing elective arthroscopic shoulder surgery, were enrolled. ⋯ The areas under the ROC curves for pre-induction values of MAP, CI, and SVI and post-induction value of SVV before a positional change were 0.556 (95% CI 0.373-0.739; p = 0.557), 0.735 (0.576-0.894; p = 0.014), 0.787 (0.647-0.926; p = 0.003), and 0.691 (0.525-0.857; p = 0.046), respectively. In this study, pre-induction values of CI and SVI and post-induction value of SVV before a positional change predicted hypotension in the BCP under general anesthesia. Our findings suggest that not only preload but also preoperative cardiac performances might be the important factors for the development of hypotension after a repositioning supine to the sitting during general anesthesia.
A 50-year-old man underwent shoulder surgery in the beach chair position. His mean arterial blood pressure at arm level was approximately 65 mm Hg. ⋯ Radiologic evaluation revealed a congenital asymmetry of the circle of Willis that resulted in limited collateral flow to the left anterior and middle cerebral artery distributions. Similar anatomical variations are relatively common in the general population and may render some patients relatively and unpredictably more vulnerable to hypotension.
Randomized Controlled Trial
We examined the effects of different anesthetics on cerebral oxygenation and systemic hemodynamics in patients undergoing surgery in beach chair position (BCP). Jugular venous bulb oxygen saturation (SjvO2) and regional cerebral tissue oxygen saturation (SctO2) were determined while patients were placed from the supine to BCP. Whether SctO2 and SjvO2 are interchangeable in assessing the cerebral oxygenation was also examined. ⋯ The margin of safety against impaired cerebral oxygenation is greater and SjvO2 is more preserved with S/N than with P/R anesthesia. SctO2 may not be reliable in detecting a low SjvO2 during the surgery in BCP.
Hypotension in the sitting position may reduce cerebral perfusion and oxygenation. We prospectively determined the incidence of cerebral oximetry (rSO2) desaturation in seated patients undergoing ambulatory shoulder arthroscopy. ⋯ Despite frequent hypotension in the sitting position, rSO2 desaturation was uncommon during shoulder arthroscopy performed in the sitting position with regional anesthesia.
Hypotension is common in patients undergoing surgery in the sitting position under general anesthesia, and the risk may be exacerbated by the use of antihypertensive drugs taken preoperatively. The purpose of this study was to compare hypotensive episodes in patients taking antihypertensive medications with normotensive patients during shoulder surgery in the beach chair position. ⋯ Preoperative use of antihypertensive medication was associated with an increased incidence of intraoperative hypotension. Compared with normotensive patients, patients taking antihypertensive drugs preoperatively are expected to require vasopressors more often to maintain normal blood pressure.
Randomized Controlled Trial Comparative Study
Beach chair positioning during general anesthesia is associated with cerebral oxygen desaturation. Changes in cerebral oxygenation resulting from the interaction of inspired oxygen fraction (FIO2), end-tidal carbon dioxide (PETCO2), and anesthetic choice have not been fully evaluated in anesthetized patients in the beach chair position. ⋯ Increasing FIO2 and PETCO2 resulted in a significant increase in rSO2 that overcomes desaturation in patients anesthetized in the beach chair position and that appears independent of anesthetic choice.
Cases of ischaemic brain damage have been reported in relatively healthy patients undergoing shoulder surgery in the beach chair position. Unrecognised cerebral hypoperfusion may have contributed to these catastrophic events, indicating that routine anaesthesia monitoring may not suffice. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) provides a non-invasive, continuous method to measure regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rScO2). ⋯ The high prevalence of significant cerebral oxygen desaturation during shoulder surgery in the upright position underlines the need for close monitoring. NIRS might constitute a valuable technique to detect cerebral hypoperfusion in this high-risk group of patients.
Ischemic brain damage has been reported in healthy patients after beach chair position for surgery due to cerebral hypoperfusion. Near-infrared spectroscopy has been described as a non-invasive, continuous method to monitor cerebral oxygen saturation. However, its impact on neurobehavioral outcome comparing different anesthesia regimens has been poorly described. ⋯ The incidence of regional cerebral oxygen desaturations seems to influence the neurobehavioral outcome. Regional anesthesia offers more stable cardiovascular conditions for shoulder surgery in beach chair position influencing neurobehavioral test results at 24h.
To evaluate changes in cerebral tissue oxygen index (TOI) values under the beach chair position before and during general anesthesia in surgical patients with or without cardiovascular risk factors. ⋯ The beach chair position under general anesthesia did not alter cerebral oxygenation in patients with or without cardiovascular risk factors showing normal preoperative cerebral TOI values when the mean blood pressure was maintained above 60 mm Hg. The careful management using the cerebral oxygenation monitoring appears to maintain cerebral perfusion in the beach chair position during general anesthesia.
Although uncommon, severe neurological events have been reported in patients undergoing shoulder surgery in the beach chair position. The presumed etiology of central nervous system injury is hypotension and subsequent cerebral hypoperfusion that occurs after alterations in positioning under general anesthesia. Most clinical trials have demonstrated that beach chair positioning results in reductions in regional brain oxygenation, cerebral blood flow, and jugular bulb oxygenation, as well as impairment in cerebral autoregulation and electroencephalographic/processed electroencephalographic variables. Further studies are needed to define the incidence of adverse neurological adverse events in the beach chair position, identify the best intraoperative neurological monitors that are predictive of neurocognitive outcomes, the lowest "safe" acceptable blood pressure during surgery for individual patients, and the optimal interventions to treat intraoperative hypotension.
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