Photo of Zhongcong  Xie, MD, PhD

Zhongcong Xie, MD, PhD


Accepting New Patients



Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine

Clinical Interests
  • Thoracic and regional anesthesia
  • Obstetric anesthesia
Medical Education
  • PhD, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • MD, Xuzhou Medical College
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Board Certifications
  • Anesthesiology
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the greatest public health problems in the US, and its impact will only increase with demographic changes anticipated in the coming decades. Post-operative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), a disorder including impairment of learning and memory following anesthesia and surgery, can significantly affect post-operative recovery of patients. The short-term and long-term effects of general anesthesia on aging brain function represent a burgeoning area of research interest.

The long-term mission of our lab (The Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit) is to improve the perioperative experience of the elderly patient undergoing surgery. Our research focus on determining the neuropathogenesis of AD and POCD, and assessing the potential neurotoxicity of anesthesia. Specifically, we study the effects of anesthetics on apoptosis, cell death, beta-amyloid protein metabolism and neuroinflammation in cultured cells, animals and humans.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Research Areas

  • Investigating the neuropathogenesis of Alzheime?s disease and Postoperative cognitive dysfunction.
  • Studying neurotoxicity of anesthetics and other perioperative factors, e.g., pain and sleep deprivation.
  • Assessing cognitive function and postoperative delirium in humans.

Description of Research 

Our own laboratory studies have suggested that perioperative factors such as hypoxia, hypocapnia, surgery, anesthetics, sleep deprivation and pain may contribute to neuropathogenesis of Alzheime?s disease (AD), postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), and delirium. Future projects in the Geriatric Anesthesia Research Unit in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at MGH will explore the nature of the relationship between these perioperative factors and AD, work that may shed more light on AD neuropathogenesis; we will investigate the perioperative factors associated with POCD and attempt to establish a possible association between these factors and delirium. Our work proceeds at both the cellular and molecular levels in cultured cells, neurons, mice and human subjects, and we employ such techniques as somatic gene transfer, genetic modification of animal models, RNA interference, RT-PCR, and immunocytochemistry; we also use various pharmacological tools and behavioral evaluations (e.g., Morris Water Maze and Fear Conditioning Test) when these are indicated. These efforts may illustrate whether general anesthesia, surgery and other perioperative factors can initiate or accelerate the development of AD, POCD and delirium. The results of these studies will ultimately guide clinicians with regard to how to provide the safest anesthesia care for patients.
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News & Events


Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-9308617-724-3104
Fax: 617-643-9277

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