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Minerva Anestesiologica 2011 March;77(3):268-74


language: English

Stress doses of hydrocortisone reduce systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing cardiac surgery without cardiopulmonary bypass

Kilger E. 1, Heyn J. 1, Beiras-Fernandez A. 2, Luchting B. 1, Weis F. 1

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Grosshadern, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany; 2 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Grosshadern University Hospital, LM-University, Munich, Germany


BACKGROUND:Systemic inflammatory response occurs after cardiac surgery (CS) and leads to a worse outcome in many cases. Stress doses of hydrocortisone have been successfully used to reduce SIRS and to improve outcome of patients after CS with cardiopulmonary bypass grafting (on-pump CABG), but the effect of hydrocortisone on patients undergoing CS without cardiopulmonary bypass grafting (off-pump CABG) is unclear. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of stress doses of hydrocortisone in this group of patients.
METHODS: A total of 305 patients undergoing off-pump CABG were enrolled in a prospective randomized trial according to the study protocol. The patients either received stress doses of hydrocortisone or placebo. We measured various laboratory and clinical variables characterizing the patients’ outcomes.
RESULTS: The two study groups did not differ with regard to demographic data. Patients receiving hydrocortisone had an increased Higgins score and a decreased ejection fraction. Furthermore, patients from the hydrocortisone group had significantly lower levels of IL-6 (275 [162/677] pg/mL vs. 450 [320/660] pg/mL, P=0.001) and a shorter stay in the ICU (1 [1/3] day vs. 2 [2/3] days, P=0.04). Both groups did not differ in regard to catecholamine support, duration of mechanical ventilation, incidence of postoperative atrial fibrillation, blood loss, and mortality rate.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that intravenous stress doses of hydrocortisone lead to a reduction of systemic inflammation and to a potential improvement in the early outcome of patients undergoing off-pump CABG.

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