BioScience Trends. 2023;17(4):271-282. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01208)

Neurosurgical perioperative management of frail elderly patients

Hu XQ, Ma YN, Jiang XM, Tang W, Xia Y, Song PP


With the rapid increase in global aging, the prevalence of frailty is increasing and frailty has emerged as an emerging public health burden. Frail elderly patients suffer from reduced homeostatic reserve capacity, which is associated with a disproportionate decline in physical status after exposure to stress and an increased risk of adverse events. Frailty is closely associated with changes in the volume of the white and gray matter of the brain. Sarcopenia has been suggested to be an important component of frailty, and reductions in muscle strength and muscle mass lead to reductions in physical function and independence, which are critical factors contributing to poor prognosis. Approximately 10–32% of patients undergoing neurological surgery are frail, and the risk of frailty increases with age, which is significantly associated with the occurrence of adverse postoperative events (major complications, total duration of hospitalization, and need for discharge to a nursing facility). The postoperative mortality rate in severely frail patients is 9–11 times higher than that in non-frail individuals. Therefore, due attention must be paid to neurosurgical frailty and muscle assessment in elderly patients. Specialized interventions in the perioperative period of neurosurgery in frail elderly patients may improve their postoperative prognosis.

KEYWORDS: sarcopenia, aging, complication, prognosis

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