Is there a higher frequency of postoperative depression in patients undergoing awake craniotomy for brain tumors?: A prospective study

Document Type



Community Health Sciences; Neurosurgery


Introduction: Brain tumor resection under awake settings may cause significant psychological stress, which may lead to perioperative anxiety and depression. We conducted a prospective study to compare postoperative depression in patients undergoing awake craniotomy (AC) for tumor resection and compare it with patients undergoing tumor resection under general anesthesia (GA).
Methods: We conducted a prospective study at a tertiary care hospital. Non-probability consecutive sampling was performed, and patients with a preoperative diagnosis of depression or with any other medical comorbidities that could precipitate depression were excluded. Two separate questionnaires, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) Scale and the Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS), were used to screen depression and assess functional status, respectively.
Results: Ninety-six patients met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Out of these, 37 (38.1%) had undergone awake craniotomy and 59 (60.8%) had undergone conventional craniotomy (CC) (under general anesthesia) for brain tumor resection. To standardize our method, we ensured that the demographic variables, including mean age, gender, educational status, marital status, and socioeconomic conditions, were comparable between both groups. Postoperative functional status fared better in patients who underwent awake craniotomy (p = 0.03). The total number of patients suffering from postoperative clinical depression, according to the PHQ-9 Scale, was 41 (42.7%), of which 12 (12.5%) were in the awake craniotomy group and 29 (30.2%) were in the conventional craniotomy group. The median PHQ-9 Scale score in the awake craniotomy group was 6 (range: 3-10), which was less than the median score in the conventional craniotomy group, which was 9 (range: 4-12). This difference, however, was not statistically significant (p = 0.06).
Conclusion: Resection of brain tumors under awake conditions is not likely associated with any additional incidence of postoperative depression when compared with resection of tumors under general anesthesia.


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