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Does Coronary Angiography and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Affect Cognitive Function?

      Cerebral microemboli are frequently observed during coronary angiography (CA) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), and their numbers have been related to the vascular access site used. Although cerebral microemboli can cause silent cerebral lesions, their clinical impact is debated. To study this, 93 patients referred for CA or PCI underwent serial cognitive testing using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test to detect postprocedural cognitive impairment. Patients were randomized to radial or femoral access. In a subgroup of 35 patients, the number of cerebral microemboli was monitored with transcranial Doppler technique. We found the median precatheterization result of the MoCA test to be 27, and it did not change significantly 4 and 31 days, respectively, after the procedure. There was no significant correlation between the number of cerebral microemboli and the difference between preprocedural and postprocedural MoCA tests. The test results did not differ between vascular access sites. One-third of the patients had a precatheterization median MoCA test result <26 corresponding to mild cognitive impairment. In conclusion, using the MoCA test, we could not detect any cognitive impairment after CA or PCI, and no significant correlations were found between the results of the MoCA test and cerebral microemboli or vascular access site, respectively. In patients with suspected coronary heart disease, mild cognitive impairment was common.
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