Clinical factors and pre-surgical depression scores predict pain intensity in cardiac surgery patients

Jacob Gohari, Liza Grosman-Rimon, Mattan Arazi, Noa Caspi-Avissar, Dina Granot, Sagi Gleitman, Jawdat Badarny, Alla Lubovich, Doron Sudarsky, Jordan Rimon, Shemy Carasso, Edo Y. Birati, Erez Kachel

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Severe pain is prevalent in cardiac surgery patients and can increase cardiac complications, morbidity and mortality. The objectives of the study were to assess perioperative pain intensity and to assess predictors of pain post-cardiac surgery, including clinical characteristics and depression. Methods: A total of 98 cardiac surgery patients were included in the study. Pain intensity was assessed using a Numerical Rating System. Pain was measured one day pre-operatively and recorded daily from Post-operative Day 2 to Day 7. Clinical data were recorded and depression scores were assessed using the Center for Epidemiological Study of Depression (CES-D). Results: Pain intensity increased significantly during hospitalization from pre-operative levels, surging at 2 days post-operatively. Predictors of high pain intensity were high pre-operative CES-D scores, female gender, cardiac function, smoking and high body mass index (BMI). Significantly higher pre-operative CES-D scores were found in patients with severe pain compared to patients with no pain to moderate pain (18.23 ± 1.80 vs 12.84 ± 1.22, p = 0.01 pre-operatively). Patients with severe pain (NRS 7–10) had significantly higher levels of white blood cells (WBC) compared to patients with no pain-moderate pain (NRS 0–6), (p = 0.01). However, CES-D scores were only weakly correlated maximum WBC levels perioperatively. Conclusion: Pain intensity significantly increased following surgery, and was associated with depressive symptoms, female sex, cardiac function, BMI, and smoking. These factors may serve as a basis for identification and intervention to help prevent the transition from acute pain to chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number204
JournalBMC Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2022

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  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Depression
  • Pain


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