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Neurology Research

Neurologic injuries are frequent and devastating complications following cardiac surgery. Previous work conducted has identified the principal mechanisms creating both overt and subtle neurologic injuries after cardiac surgery.

Current work by the Dartmouth-Hitchcock research group has identified that the causes (thrombotic/lipid emboli, cerebral hypoperfusion & hypotension, and gaseous emboli) of these injuries are byproducts of processes of surgical and perfusion care. Using a 5-year NIH career development award, they are currently leading three medical centers focused on leveraging this insight.

Using a quality improvement model, they will:

  • Identify those surgical and perfusion strategies associated with reductions in the incidence of thrombotic/lipid emboli, cerebral hypoperfusion & hypotension, and gaseous emboli
  • Measure the effect (decreases in tissue-level and neurologic injury) of redesigning surgical and perfusion care to reduce their occurrence
  • Regionally implement only those strategies found to be protective of neurologic injury