This year will be a landmark one for geriatric concerns at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® annual meeting, which will highlight postoperative delirium (POD). POD is seen in 15-60 percent of all elderly surgical patients and is associated with a longer length of hospital stay, greater costs and increased risk of death in the year after surgery. The pathophysiology of POD remains unclear but is likely multifactorial and includes a combination of inherent and modifiable factors. There is significant equipoise regarding the ideal anesthetic for patients at high risk of developing POD. Much of the cutting-edge research and high-quality trials will be presented this year in Chicago.

Currently, we understand that POD is a complex syndrome and is shaped by the balance of “predictors” (predisposing vulnerabilities) and “provokers” (environment and circumstance). Using perioperative medicine to improve patient care is a major...

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