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Minerva Anestesiologica 2008 November;74(11):619-26


language: English

Thoracic epidural anesthesia decreases C-reactive protein levels in patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass

Palomero Rodríguez M. A. 1, Suarez Gonzalo L. 1, Villar Alvarez F. 2, Varela Crespo C. 1, Moreno Gomez Limon I. 1, Criado Jimenez A. 1

1 Department of of Anesthesiology, La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain; 2 Department of Pneumology, Gregorio Marañon University Hospital, Madrid, Spain


Background. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass induces a systemic inflammatory response. However, when thoracic epidural anaesthesia is administered as part of a combined anesthetic technique, the stress response associated with the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) may be attenuated.
Methods. Twenty-two patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery were randomized to receive either balanced general anesthesia with 7-20 µg/kg fentanyl (GA group) or combined anesthesia with 3-6 µg/kg fentanyl and an epidural bolus of 0.33% bupivacaine followed by a continuous perfusion of 0.175% bupivacaine, which was continued up to 48 hours after surgery (TEA group). The hemodynamic levels, troponin I, C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen, leukocyte and platelet counts were recorded preoperatively, and 5 h, 16 h, 24 h, and 36 h after termination of the cardiopulmonary bypass. The time to tracheal extubation and cardiopulmonary complication rate were measured postoperatively. Data were analyzed with the Student’s t and Mann Whitney tests, as appropriate. Differences were considered significant at P<0.05.
Results. All parameters significantly increased following CPB. The increase in CRP levels were lower in the TEA group at 16 hours (P=0.048). The increase of fibrinogen levels were lower in the TEA group at 24 hours (P=0.047). No differences were found in troponin levels between groups during the study. No significant differences were observed in extubation times (GA group 750±144 min; TEA group 702±451 min).
Conclusion. Thoracic epidural anaesthesia, as a part of a combined anesthetic technique, attenuated the inflammatory response (CRP and fibrinogen levels) to cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. However, this effect was not reflected in a decrease of troponin I levels, reduced incidence of complications, or in an earlier extubation time.

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