Hallucinations after Cardiac Surgery: A Prospective Observational Study

Thomas H. Ottens*, Iris E. C. Sommer, Marieke J. Begemann, Maya Schutte, Maarten Jan Cramer, Willem J. Suyker, Diederik Van Dijk, Arjen J. C. Slooter

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

1 Citaat (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Background and Objective: Hallucinations after cardiac surgery can be a burden, but their prevalence and phenomenology have not been studied well. Risk factors for postoperative hallucinations, as well as their relation to delirium are unclear. We aimed to study the prevalence and phenomenology of hallucinations after cardiac surgery, and to study the association between hallucinations and delirium in this population. Materials and Methods: We used the Questionnaire for Psychotic Experiences to detect hallucinations in cardiac surgery patients and a control group of cardiology outpatients. We assessed postoperative delirium with validated instruments. Risk factors for postoperative hallucinations and the association between hallucinations and delirium were analysed using logistic regression. Results: We included 201 cardiac surgery patients and 99 cardiology outpatient controls. Forty-four cardiac surgery patients (21.9%) experienced postoperative hallucinations in the first four postoperative days. This was significantly higher compared to cardiology outpatient controls (n = 4, 4.1%, p <0.001). Visual hallucinations were the most common type of hallucinations in cardiac surgery patients, and less common in outpatient controls. Cardiac surgery patients who experienced hallucinations were more likely to also have delirium (10/44, 22.7%) compared to patients without postoperative hallucinations (16/157, 10.2% p = 0.03). However, the majority of patients with postoperative hallucinations (34/44, 77.3%) did not develop delirium. Conclusion: After cardiac surgery, hallucinations occurred more frequently than in outpatient controls. Hallucinations after cardiac surgery were most often visual in character. Although postoperative hallucinations were associated with delirium, most patients with hallucinations did not develop delirium.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's9
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - 2-mrt-2020

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