In the modern era, the most common post-operative complications following cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) are neurocognitive deficits (NCD) and atrial fibrillation (AF). Both morbidities have been linked to inflammation resulting from surgery, anesthesia and CPB. Microemboli, inadequate oxygen delivery and the inflammatory response consequent to blood contacting artificial components of the CPB circuit have all been linked to postoperative NCD and to a lesser extent post-operative AF.
The artificial components of the CPB circuit consist of stainless steel, polyvinylchloride (PVC), polycarbonate and other carbon-based plastics. In order to attenuate the negative sequelae of blood-circuit contact related inflammatory response, industry developed the biocompatible circuit (BCC) coating for the disposable CPB circuits. Four such coatings were studied and compared to an uncoated control group in a total of 101 patients undergoing routine CPB-assisted cardiac surgical procedures. Soluble adhesion molecule (SAM) activation was studied at different time points and common clinical outcomes such as white blood cell activation, serum renal function parameters urea and creatinine, postoperative bleeding, transfusion requirements, intensive care and hospital length of stay, CPB pump volume balances, changes in weight, postoperative serum lactate and glucose and the development of AF postoperatively, were compared. Additionally, postoperative neurocognitive testing was performed using a simple bedside neurocognitive test called the antisaccadic eye movement test. The patients in all groups were tested for comparison preoperatively and 72 hr postoperatively.
Results: The mandate of BCC coating development and manufacture is to attenuate the well-documented and demonstrated inflammatory response consequent to the contact of blood with artificial CPB surfaces. The studied BCCs significantly decreased platelet transfusions in females. In addition, the BCCs decreased the concentrations of 2 SAMs when measured 6 hours after surgery and CPB. The difference in SAM expression seen between the coated and uncoated groups at 6 hr was no longer apparent at 72 hr. Very little difference was noted between the four BCC groups.
Patients who developed AF postoperatively seemed predisposed to do so as the serum levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule was significantly higher at baseline and remained so at 6 and 72 hr.
The decreased platelet transfusions in females resulting from BCC use is a highly significant finding within this high-risk group of patient’s. As most platelet transfusions occur soon after the patient is disconnected from CPB, the short-term decrease in SAM activation can be linked to this improved clinical finding. The studied BCC coatings have achieved limited success in their intended mandate to attenuate inflammatory response in terms of improved clinical and laboratory desired outcomes.||en_US