The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 8, 1602 - 1605

Serum Phosphorylated Neurofilament Heavy Subunit-H, a Potential Predictive Biomarker for Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction in Elderly Subjects Undergoing Hip Joint Arthroplasty

Huafeng Zhang, Jinwei Zheng, Ruichun Wang, Guorong Wu, Junping Chen


Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), which refers to a cognitive impairment subsequent to surgical procedures, is a common complication in the elderly subjects. This study aimed to investigate potential risk factors for POCD in elderly subjects undergoing hip joint arthroplasty.


Consecutive elderly osteoarthritis patients who were scheduled to undergo hip arthroplasty under epidural anesthesia were enrolled into this single-center, prospective observational study. Serum phosphorylated neurofilament heavy subunit-H (pNF-H) was measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. A level of >70.5 pg/mL was accepted as pNF-H positivity. Neuropsychological assessment at baseline (1 day before the surgery) and postoperative day 7 was conducted. POCD was defined according to the calculated Z scores. Risk factors for POCD were evaluated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.


In final, 287 patients were enrolled, and 55 had suffered POCD within postoperative 7 days with an incidence of 19.2%. The final multiple logistic regression analysis revealed a higher pNF-H positivity was the only independent risk factor for POCD (odds ratio: 2.03, 95% confidence interval: 1.21-3.29, P = .012).


Our results revealed an increased preoperative serum pNF-H expression was an independent risk factor for POCD development in elderly subjects undergoing hip joint arthroplasty, suggesting the close association between anatomical damage in central nervous system and POCD.

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