, Volume 51, Issue 12, pp 579-586

Magnitude of the inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass and its relation to adverse clinical outcomes

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Introduction: Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) induces an inflammatory response believed to contribute to postoperative morbidity. We hypothesized that the magnitude of the inflammatory response following CPB would be associated with adverse clinical outcomes.¶Methods: Twenty-nine patients had plasma TNF, IL-6, IL-8, elastase, histamine, complement C5a, and complement C3a measured by ELISA before, during, and after cardiac operations employing CPB. Inflammatory mediator levels were analyzed with respect to outcomes.¶Results: Mediator levels peaked at 4 h post-CPB and either returned to baseline or substantially decreased by 24 h. Patients with peak mediator levels above the median for the group as a whole were classified as 'hyper-responders'; those with levels below the median were classified as 'normal responders'. While IL-8, C3a, and IL-6 levels were independently associated with adverse outcomes, TNF, histamine, and C5a levels were not. Elastase levels trended towards adverse outcomes. IL-8 'hyper-responders' experienced significantly greater postoperative weight gain and had higher IL-8 levels at 24 h (p<0.05), with trends towards renal impairment and protracted supplemental oxygen requirements. C3a 'hyper-responders' strongly trended towards increased bleeding, delayed extubation, greater postoperative weight gain, and decreased levels of independent functioning at discharge (p≤0.10). IL-6 'hyper-responders' experienced significantly more postoperative bleeding, delayed extubation, and higher IL-6 levels at 24 h compared to 'normal responders' (p<0.05). They strongly trended towards greater postoperative weight gain and decreased levels of independent functioning at discharge (p≤0.10).¶Conclusions: Patients who have an exaggerated inflammatory response to CPB tend to bleed more, require more respiratory support, demonstrate greater capillary leak via weight gain, and display a decline in independent functioning relative to normal responders. Thus, it appears that the magnitude of the inflammatory response to CPB adversely influences clinical outcomes.

Received 9 March 2002; accepted by G. Letts 2 July 2002
ID="*"Correspondence to: J. H. Holmes IV