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  1. GERIATRIC ANESTHESIA By Dr. MohdFadzli Bin Zahari Moderator: Dr. Tuan Norizan Bt. Tuan Mahmud

  2. Outline • Overview • Anatomy & physiology of ageing • Respiratory • CVS • Renal system • Central Nervous System • Hepatic System • Endocrine • Musculoskeletal system • Skin

  3. Outline • Age & Anesthetic Risk • Preoperative Assessment • Intraoperative Management • General VS Regional Anesthesia • Temperature • Pharmacology • Post Operative Management • Anesthesia Management Of Patient With Dementia


  5. Overview • The elderly population is increasing in size as people are living longer due to advances in medical science and improvements in standards of living. • In the western world people over 65 years of age represent approximately 15% of the population and almost half of these individuals will present to hospital for a surgical procedure.

  6. Overview • Elderly patients have higher rates of hospital morbidity and mortality compared to younger patients. • This increased risk is related to the normal physiological processes of ageing and increased prevalence of coexisting systemic disease.

  7. Overview • As a person ages, their anatomy and physiology undergo many changes that become more apparent with increasing chronological age. • Ageing is a progressive physiological process that is characterized by degeneration of organ systems and tissues with consequent loss of functional reserve of these systems.

  8. Overview • Loss of these functional reserves impairs an individual’s ability to cope with physiological challenges such as anaesthesia and surgery. • Individuals of the same chronological age may differ significantly in the rate and severity of functional decline. • Patients who maintain greater than average functional capacity are considered ‘physiologically young’ and those whose function declines at an earlier age appear to be ‘physiologically old’.


  10. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing( respiratory system ) • Lung and chest wall compliance decreases with advancing age. • Total lung capacity (TLC), Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1) and Vital Capacity are all reduced as people age. • Residual Volume (RV) increases and Functional Residual Capacity (FRC) remains unchanged.

  11. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( respiratory system )

  12. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( respiratory system )

  13. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( respiratory system ) • These changes occur as a result of reduction in elastic support of the airways and leads to increased collapsibility of alveoli and terminal conducting airways. • By the age of 65 years closing capacity typically encroaches into tidal volume during normal tidal ventilation. This results in ventilation perfusion mismatch and reduced arterial oxygen tension. estimated PaO2=13.3 - (age/30) kPa or PaO2=100 - (age/4) mmHg

  14. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( respiratory system ) • Atelectasis, pulmonary emboli and pneumonia are common post-operative complications in the elderly. • Loss of elastic tissue around the oropharynx can lead to collapse of the upper airway. Sleep or sedative states may result in partial or complete obstruction of the airway. • Patients are often edentulous making bag-mask ventilation difficult.

  15. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( respiratory system ) • Osteoarthritic changes may limit cervical spine flexibility and can make tracheal intubation more difficult. Care must be taken to avoid stressing the cervical spine as fragile ligaments and bones may be injured when subjected to mechanical forces.

  16. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing( CVS ) • Large and medium sized vessels become less elastic and therefore become less compliant with age. • This results in raised systemic vascular resistance and hypertension -> LV hypertrophy • Cardiac output falls by 3% per decade which is due to reduced stroke volume and ventricular contractility.

  17. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( CVS ) • The reduction in cardiac output with age increases the arm-brain circulation time for drugs. • Cardiac conducting cells decrease in number making heart block, ectopic beats, arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation more prevalent.

  18. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( CVS ) • Catecholamine β adrenergic receptors in the myocardium are down regulated in the elderly resulting in a decreased responsiveness to catecholamines and sympathomimetic agents. • The non-compliant vascular systems may result in reduced efficacy of vasoconstricting drugs such as ephedrine and metaraminol.

  19. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( CVS ) • There is global impairment of autonomic homeostasis and impaired carotid baroreceptor response such that the heart rate cannot always respond to maintain arterial blood pressure. • Postural hypotension is common in the elderly population and may be exacerbated by diuretics, antihypertensive drugs and hypovolaemia.

  20. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( CVS ) • Ischaemic heart disease is common in older patients, especially in smokers and diabetics. Since activity may be limited by poor mobility and other co-morbid features, symptoms such as angina or exertionaldyspnoea may not be detectable. • It is important that even without objective evidence of coronary heart disease all elderly patients should be considered at increased cardiovascular risk.

  21. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( CVS ) • Structural heart lesions such as valvular heart disease are commoneither by RHD or valve calcification. • Intravenous and inhalational agents depress cardiac and vascular smooth muscle contractility and may impair the baroreceptor response to hypotension.

  22. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( CVS ) • Neuroaxial regional anaesthesia techniques may result in significant hypotension but elderly patient tolerate spinal anesthesia well as the non-elastic vascular tree is not as susceptible to vasodilatation caused by sympathetic blockade compared to younger patients.

  23. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Renal System) • Glomerular filtration rate is thought to decrease by 1% per year over the age of 20 years due to a progressive loss of renal cortical glomeruli. • A reduction in renal perfusion secondary to reduced cardiac output and atheromatous vascular disease leads to a decline in renal function.

  24. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Renal System) • Addition to reduction of renal function by DM & nephrotoxic drugs ( NSAID’s & ACEi ). • Prostatism in males can lead to obstructive nephropathy and dehydration is common in the elderly especially during illness. • Laboratory results may be deceivingly normal in the elderly since muscle bulk decreases with age resulting in reduced creatinine production.

  25. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Renal System) • Creatinine clearance is a more useful test of renal function and can be calculated from a 24-hour urine collection Cockroft-Gault formula to estimate creatinine clearance: Creatinine Clearance (ml/min) = (140-age) x Weight (Kg) x Constant Serum Creatinine (μmol/L) Constant for males = 1.23, Constant for females = 1.04

  26. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Renal System) • Renal impairment can lead to: • reduced ability to excrete or conserve fluids • electrolyte imbalance • reduction in the clearance of renallyexcreted drugs

  27. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Central Nervous System ) • Cerebrovascular disease is common in the elderly secondary to diffuse atherosclerosis and hypertension. • Neuronal density is reduced by 30% by the age of 80 years. • Cognitive impairment can lead to difficulties in communication, patient compliance and consent to surgical and anaesthetic procedures.

  28. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Central Nervous System ) • hospitalisation, anaesthesia and surgery can lead to deterioration in cognitive function which is thought to be multfactorialin origin. • Visual and hearing impairment are very common in elderly people and can also lead to difficulties in communication. • Autonomic neuropathy may lead to impaired baroreceptor response and haemodynamicinstability.

  29. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Central Nervous System ) • Delayed gastric emptying and increased risk of gastric aspiration.

  30. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Hepatic System) • The ageing liver preserves its function relatively well. This maybe due to its capacity to regenerate. • Anatomically there is marked reduction in liver size by 60 years of age due to the decline of splanchnic blood flow. • Physiological changes primarily affects the plasma protein binding & drug metabolism.

  31. Anatomy & Physiology of Ageing ( Hepatic system ) • Common liver disease encountered in elderly: • Alcoholism • Cirrhosis ( alcoholic or viral hepatitis ) • Biliary tract disease ( gallstone & malignancies )

  32. Anatomy & Physiology Of Ageing ( Endocrine & Metabolism) • The basal metabolic rate falls by 1% per year after the age of 30. • Fall in metabolic activity and reduced muscle mass may cause impaired thermoregulatory control.

  33. Anatomy & Physiology Of Ageing ( Endocrine & Metabolism) • Approximately 25% of patients over 85 years have Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM). • Diabetes leads to renal impairment, cardiovascular disease, neuropathy and retinopathy. • Elderly patients also have an increase in thyroid disorders, osteoporosis and nutritional disorders.

  34. Anatomy & Physiology Of Ageing ( Musculoskeletal System ) • Arthritis is extremely common and leads to pain and reduced mobility in affected individuals. • Bones and joints may be deformed, making regional anesthesia techniques difficult or even impossible. • Osteoporosis occurs especially in females, immobile patients and those with a history of steroid use.

  35. Anatomy & Physiology Of Ageing ( Musculoskeletal System ) • Much care must be taken when moving and positioning patients so as to avoid exacerbating joint pain or causing fractures or dislocations. • Prominent bony areas are susceptible to skin breakdown and pressure sores.

  36. Anatomy & Physiology Of Ageing ( Skin ) • Elderly patients tend to have thin skin and fragile subcutaneous blood vessels and therefore patients tend to bruise easily. • Achieving and securing venous access can be difficult and problems of extravasations of fluid or drugs can occur if infused under pressure. • Care should be taken on transferring patients to avoid skin abrasions.


  38. Perioperative outcome described as mortality that is death within 30 days of the surgical procedure and/or morbidity which involves anesthetic or surgical complications that occur also within 30 days.

  39. Factors influence outcome: • Emergency surgery • Atypical clinical presentation ( atypical angina or silent ischemia ) at the time of surgical intervention • Presence of CAD • Type of surgery • The ageing process itself lead to a person with higher probability requiring operative procedure

  40. Methods of risk assessment & stratification • ASA classification • Lee cardiac risk index • Goldman & Detsky cardiac risk index • Postoperative pneumonia index • Delirium risk predictors • POSSUM • SAS

  41. ASA classification • Preoperative assessment of overall co morbidity and physical status. • Focus primarily on physical status and discourage the use of operative risk because of excessive number of variables to be considered. • One of the most reliable and accurate predictors of surgical mortality

  42. Lee cardiac risk • Also known as revised cardiac risk index • Complication rate ranging from 0.4% to 11% • Predictive of cardiovascular mortality but suboptimal for surgical procedure • "Major cardiac event" includes myocardial infarction, pulmonary edema, ventricular fibrillation, primary cardiac arrest, and complete heart block

  43. Risk stratification by specific age • Recently was classified into chronological decade due to physiological changes reported by chronological decade. • Classified as: • Sexagenarians ( 60 – 69 ) • Septagenarians ( 70 – 79 ) • Octogenarians ( 80 – 89 ) • Nonagenarians ( 90 – 99 ) • Centenarians ( > 100 )