Circulating microaggregates during cardiac surgery precedes postoperative stroke


Postoperative stroke and encephalopathy are potentially serious complications associated with coronary artery bypass grafting. In this case report a 78-year-old male patient receiving routine elective cardiac surgery presented with microaggregations in the sublingual microcirculation while on cardiopulmonary bypass that was undetected by routine intraoperative anticoagulation assessment. Microaggregates identified using video microscopy on his sublingual microcirculation during the procedure preceded a stroke postoperatively. Postoperative cerebral and carotid artery examination with computed tomography scanning revealed a left watershed cerebral infarct with carotid stenosis. This report presents intraoperative microcirculation-based evidence suggesting that observations of microaggregations, otherwise undetected by conventional anticoagulation assessment techniques, could serve as an early warning in elderly patients at high risk for postoperative cerebrovascular events.

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Correspondence to Dan M. J. Milstein.

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Uz, Z., Milstein, D.M.J., Ince, C. et al. Circulating microaggregates during cardiac surgery precedes postoperative stroke. J Thromb Thrombolysis 44, 14–18 (2017).

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  • Cardiac surgery
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Microaggregates
  • Microcirculation
  • Stroke