Spring 2013 DIG Report: Miklos Kertai, MD, PhD

Pharmacogenomics of β-blockers: Implication for Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation

The purpose of our study is to identify genetic variations in human genes that are responsible for modulating the efficacy of beta-blockers for the prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation. For the purposes of the present study, we are using isolated DNA and human atrial tissue from patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

Since the initiation of the study, we have: 1) identified a group of patients from our clinico-genetic database with clinical information on beta-blocker use and atrial fibrillation who underwent CABG surgery, 2) selected patients with available DNA and atrial tissue, 3) processed and isolated messenger RNA from atrial tissue, and 4) submitted the isolated messenger RNAs for gene expression profiling. The results of the gene expression profiling will allow us to measure the activity of genes that might be associated with an increased risk for postoperative atrial fibrillation and reduced efficacy of beta-blockers.

Our next step in the study is to allocate DNAs of the same patients for whom we have isolated messenger RNA from atrial tissues. Subsequently, the DNAs will be analyzed for the presence and frequency of variations that might be associated with an increased risk for postoperative atrial fibrillation and reduced efficacy of Pharmacogenomics of beta-blockers.