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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 28

J Pers Med



Hydrogen Gas Treatment Improves Postoperative Delirium and Cognitive Dysfunction in Elderly Noncardiac Patients.



: Postoperative delirium is a state of acute brain dysfunction characterized by fluctuating mental status that affects millions of patients each year. We used prophylactic inhalation of hydrogen gas in elderly patients undergoing elective surgery to compare their occurrence of postoperative delirium with that of controls. : A total of 184 patients aged ≥ 65 years were enrolled and randomized into either a control group or a hydrogen inhalation group. The quality of sleep was assessed 1 day before and 1, 3, and 7 days after surgery at 8 A.M. The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) was used as a screening tool for delirium and assessed the patients' state of consciousness 1-7 days after surgery. : Postoperative delirium occurred in 17 (24%) of 70 patients without hydrogen inhalation and in 10 (12%) of 83 patients after hydrogen inhalation. The incidence of delirium was decreased in the hydrogen group. No significant differences were found between length of stay in hospital after surgery and sleep quality at 1, 3, and 7 days postoperatively between the two groups. The numerical rating scale (NRS) pain scores were higher in the hydrogen group (4.08 ± 1.77) than the control group (3.54 ± 1.77) on day 1 ( < 0.05); however, the mean difference between the two groups was small (1 to 1.6). There were no significant differences on day 3 and 7. The postoperative C-reactive protein level was significantly lower in the hydrogen group than the control group. : This study suggests that hydrogen inhalation can prevent postoperative delirium in elderly noncardiac patients by reducing the inflammatory response.