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Heart Surg Forum. 2011 Dec;14(6):E384-8. doi: 10.1532/HSF98.20111074.

Glutamine is cardioprotective in patients with ischemic heart disease following cardiopulmonary bypass.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Academician E. N. Meshalkin Novosibirsk State Research Institute of Circulation Pathology, Novosibirsk, Russia.



The aim of the present study was to investigate the cardioprotective effects of the perioperative use of N(2)-L-alanyl-L-glutamine (GLN) in patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD) who undergo their operations under cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).


This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study included 50 patients who underwent cardiac surgery with CPB. Exclusion criteria were a left ventricular ejection fraction <50%, diabetes mellitus, <3 months since the onset of myocardial infarction, and emergency surgery. Patients in the study group (n = 25) received 0.4 g/kg GLN (Dipeptiven, 20% solution) per day. Patients in the control group (n = 25) were administered a placebo (0.9% NaCl). The primary end point was the dynamics of troponin I at the following stages: (1) prior to anesthesia, (2) 30 minutes after CPB, (3) 6 hours after CPB, (4) 24 hours after surgery, and (5) 48 hours after surgery. Secondary end points included measurements of hemodynamics with a Swan-Ganz catheter.


On the first postoperative day after the surgery, the median troponin I level was significantly lower in the study group than in the placebo group: 1.280 ng/mL (interquartile range [IQR], 0.840-2.230 ng/mL) versus 2.410 ng/mL (IQR, 1.060-6.600 ng/mL) (P = .035). At 4 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), the median cardiac index was higher in the patients in the study group: 2.58 L/min per m2 (IQR, 2.34-2.91 L/min per m2) versus 2.03 L/min per m2 (IQR, 1.76-2.32 L/min per m2) (P = .002). The median stroke index also was higher in the patients who received GLN: 32.8 mL/m2 (IQR, 27.8-36.0 mL/m2) versus 26.1 mL/m2 (IQR, 22.6-31.8 mL/m2) (P = .023). The median systemic vascular resistance index was significantly lower in the study group than in the placebo group: 1942 dyn·s/cm5 per m2 (IQR, 1828-2209 dyn·s/cm5 per m2) versus 2456 dyn·s/cm5 per m2 (IQR, 2400-3265 dyn·s/cm5 per m2) (P = .001).


Perioperative administration of GLN during the first 24 hours has cardioprotective effects in IHD patients following CPB. This technique enhances the troponin concentration at 24 hours after surgery and is associated with improved myocardial function.

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