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Article
September 1940

CEREBRAL COMPLICATIONS FOLLOWING SURGICAL OPERATIONSII. FACTORS WHICH PREDISPOSE TO CEREBRAL ANOXIA

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA
From the Department of Thoracic Surgery and the Division of Neuropathology, the Laboratories, Philadelphia General Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1940;41(3):772-780. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210030206014
Abstract

In a recent article1 we discussed the etiologic, pathogenic and pathologic aspects of the cerebral complications of surgical operation. We have included among the cerebral complications many of the spectacular "anesthetic deaths" and postoperative hemiplegias, as well as the less spectacular but equally tragic postoperative confusional states, psychoses, prolonged comas and convulsions. In all, 21 cases of fatal cerebral complications were reported, with autopsy observations in each case.

Such cerebral complications are not, however, invariably fatal. Indeed, it seems certain that many more patients recover than die, although not all recover without residual stigmas. However, in order to establish the etiologic factors in certain types of postoperative cerebral complications it was thought imperative to use only cases in which careful postmortem examinations had been made.

Thus we have been able to demonstrate that most types of postoperative cerebral complications may occur as a result of cerebral anoxia. In the

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