Duke University Medical Center investigators have comprehensively characterized for the first time the perioperative changes in cardiac substrate utilization following cardiac surgery in humans. A mass-spectrometry metabolomics approach was used on paired arterial and coronary sinus samples collected before and after application of aortic cross-clamp to provide a detailed metabolic account of the consequences of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion. MORE »
Variants of two genes involved in the inflammatory system appear to protect patients from suffering a decline in mental function following heart surgery. Duke University Medical Center researchers believe their findings could help physicians identify patients at risk of suffering mental decline after heart surgery and raises the possibility that these patients could be treated with drugs that are known to dampen the inflammatory response.Six years ago, the Duke researchers demonstrated that 42 percent of patients who underwent coronary artery bypass surgery had measurable cognitive decline five years after their procedure. Since that finding, the team has been investigating possible reasons for this decline. MORE »
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found a genetic variant that seems to be associated with lower five-year survival after a coronary artery bypass. The scientists found the same gene was associated with mortality in two different sets of patients, with about 1,000 patients in each group (1,018 and 930 patients, respectively). MORE »
Specific variants of genes involved in inflammation and blood vessel constriction are strongly associated with kidney damage in patients undergoing major heart surgery, researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found.While renal dysfunction after heart surgery is a common occurrence, until now researchers have been unable to predict with any certainty which patients – based on their personal and medical characteristics – are at the highest risk. The current analysis showed that patients with the particular genetic variants, or polymorphisms, have a collective two- to four-fold greater likelihood of suffering renal dysfunction after heart surgery. MORE »
Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered that patients who have two specific gene variants are more than three times as likely to suffer a stroke after heart surgery.Furthermore, since the two implicated genes are involved in the body’s immune response to insult or injury, the researchers said that their findings strongly suggest that inflammation plays an important role in postoperative stroke. MORE »
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that the presence of specific variants of genes that control clotting and the contractility, or “tone,” of blood vessels can double the ability of physicians to predict those heart surgery patients at greatest risk of bleeding after surgery.The issue of postoperative bleeding is important, the researchers said, because patients who suffer such episodes have increased rates of additional medical problems and even death. Furthermore, decreasing the rate of postoperative bleeding can have important implications for the health care system, they continued, since an estimated 20 percent of the nation’s blood supply is used to treat these patients. MORE »
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that patients with six specific variants of genes involved in the body’s immune response are significantly more likely to suffer damage of heart tissue after cardiac surgery.
These findings are important because current analytical methods cannot reliably predict who will be likely to suffer from myocardial infarction (MI), or heart tissue death after cardiac surgery. It is estimated that between 7 and 15 percent of patients undergoing coronary bypass surgery will suffer from a subsequent MI, the researchers said. MORE »