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Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation for prevention of postoperative delirium in geriatric patients with silent lacunar infarction: a preliminary study

Authors Gao F, Zhang Q, Li Y, Tai Y, Xin X, Wang X, Wang Q

Received 13 August 2018

Accepted for publication 25 September 2018

Published 24 October 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2127—2134

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S183698

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Zhi-Ying Wu


Fang Gao,1 Qi Zhang,2 Yanan Li,1 Yanlei Tai,1 Xi Xin,3 Xiuli Wang,1 Qiujun Wang1

1Department of Anesthesiology, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Children’s Hospital of Hebei Province, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Anesthesiology, Tianjin Third Central Hospital, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: This study aims to investigate the effect of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) on postoperative delirium (POD) in elderly patients with silent lacunar infarct and preliminarily to determine the relationship among TEAS, blood–brain barrier (BBB), neuroinflammation, and POD.
Patients and methods: Sixty-four-old patients with silent lacunar infarct were randomly divided into two groups: group TEAS and control group (group C). Patients in the group TEAS received TEAS (disperse-dense waves; frequency, 2/100 Hz) on acupoints Hegu and Neiguan of both sides starting from 30 minutes before induction of anesthesia until the end of surgery, and the intensity was the maximum current that could be tolerated. In group C, electrodes were placed on the same acupoints before anesthesia induction, but no current was given. At 0 minute before the treatment of TEAS, 30 minutes after skin incision, and after completion of surgery (T1–3), blood samples were extracted to detect the concentration of serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin-6 (IL-6), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and S100β. We assessed patients for delirium and coma twice daily in the first 3 postoperative days using the Confusion Assessment Method for the intensive care unit and the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale.
Results: This study preliminarily suggests that TEAS can reduce the development of POD in elderly patients with silent lacunar infarction (6.3% vs 25.0%; P=0.039). Compared with the baseline value at T1, the serum concentrations of IL-6, TNF-α, MMP-9, and S100β were significantly increased at T2–3 in both the groups (P<0.05). Compared with group TEAS, serum levels of TNF-α and IL-6 were higher at T2–3 and serum levels of MMP-9 and S100β were higher at T3 in group C (P<0.05). The intraoperative anesthetic consumptions were less in group TEAS than group C.
Conclusion: TEAS can alleviate POD in older patients with silent lacunar infarction and may be related to reduce the neuroinflammation by lowering the permeability of BBB.

Keywords: delirium, geriatric, neuroinflammation, blood–brain barrier, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, lacunar infarction

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