Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology

O sistema respiratório e o idoso: implicações anestésicas

The respiratory system and the elderly: anesthetic implications

Cláudia Regina Fernandes; Pedro Poso Ruiz Neto

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JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: As complicações respiratórias são responsáveis por grande parte dos óbitos após procedimentos cirúrgicos que ocorrem na população geriátrica. O envelhecimento causa importante diminuição da reserva funcional do sistema respiratório, e um número crescente de pacientes idosos está sendo submetido a procedimentos cada vez mais complexos. O objetivo deste trabalho é revisar o sistema respiratório durante o processo de envelhecimento, as alterações causadas pela anestesia no idoso, enfatizando a avaliação pré-operatória da função respiratória, complicações pulmonares pós-operatórias e detalhes do manuseio anestésico. CONTEÚDO: São apresentadas as alterações respiratórias fisiológicas do envelhecimento. São enfatizadas as alterações de volume e capacidades pulmonares, da mecânica respiratória e de trocas gasosas proporcionadas pela anestesia. São abordados aspectos relativos à morbimortalidade pulmonar pós-operatória em geriatria, destacando-se a importância da adequada avaliação pré-operatória, considerando-se desde testes de esforço até testes específicos que quantificam a reserva funcional pulmonar. São discutidas técnicas anestésicas apropriadas em idosos. CONCLUSÕES: O envelhecimento é acompanhado de alterações no sistema respiratório. Evidências demonstram que mesmo na ausência de pneumopatia, a idade avançada constitui fator de risco para complicações pulmonares no pós-operatório. Deve haver preocupação com adequada avaliação pré-operatória da função respiratória, apropriado manuseio anestésico e cuidados pós-operatórios específicos.




BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Respiratory complications are responsible for a major number of elderly deaths after surgical procedures. Aging entails an important decrease in respiratory system functional reserves, while an increasing number of elderly people are being submitted to increasingly complex procedures. This study is a review of the respiratory system during aging and of anesthesia-induced changes in the elderly, emphasizing preoperative evaluation of respiratory function, postoperative pulmonary complications and details of anesthetic management. CONTENTS: Physiologic respiratory changes due to aging are presented, with emphasis in pulmonary volume and capacity abnormalities, respiratory mechanics and gas exchange provided by anesthesia. Perioperative pulmonary mortality and morbidity in elderly patients are addressed, emphasizing the importance of appropriate preoperative evaluation, from stress tests to specific tests, to quantify pulmonary functional reserves. Appropriate anesthetic techniques for the elderly are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Aging brings about several respiratory system changes. Evidences have shown that, even in the absence of pulmonary disease, advanced age is a risk factor for postoperative pulmonary complications. It is necessary a thorough evaluation of preoperative respiratory function, adequate anesthetic management and specific postoperative care.




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