The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


The Effect of General and Spinal Anesthesia on Balance Control in Elderly Patients

Author(s): Alejo Su?rez and Omar Macadar

Falls are a major problem in the elderly population, but few communications address the influence of anesthesia on balance control. This study reports how a general balanced anesthesia (GBA) and a spinal anesthesia (SA) affect balance control in the elderly. We divided into three groups, according to electronystagmography findings and type of anesthesia, 21 men older than 65 years (mean age, 72 years) who were scheduled for prostate adenectomy. One group, designated GBN , consisted of normal subjects who underwent surgery under GBA. In another group, designated GBP , were pathological subjects who had clinically compensated central vestibular disorders (CVDs) and underwent surgery under GBA. The third group, designated SP , contained CVD patients who underwent surgery under SA. We assessed balance control via static posturography preoperatively and 48 hours postoperatively. We observed no change in balance control parameters (center of pressure distribution area [COPa] or COP sway velocity [SV]) for those patients in the GBN group or for those in the SP group. We did observe a significant difference for the patients in the GBP group, with higher postoperative values of COPa and SV (Wilcoxon signed rank test). Our results showed that in subjects with clinically compensated underlying CVD prior to a GBA, balance control worsens after the procedure, whereas no change in balance control occurs after an SA. Balance control in subjects with normal vestibuloocular function did not change even after a GBA.