Until now, little attention has been paid to the preoperative status of the cardiac surgery patient when investigating the effects of cardiac surgery on cognition. However, there is growing evidence that pre-bypass patients show poorer cognitive function than healthy individuals. The present article reviews the literature on existing evidence of poor cognitive function in pre-bypass patients by describing patient characteristics, inventorying affected neurocognitive domains, discussing adequate control groups, and proposing potential etiological mechanisms of neuropsychological dysfunctioning. We conclude that there is a growing need for future research into this important topic on cognitive dysfunctioning in candidates for CABG surgery.
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