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Exp Gerontol. 2007 Jul;42(7):668-75. Epub 2007 Mar 27.

Advanced glycation endproducts: a biomarker for age as an outcome predictor after cardiac surgery?

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Department of Cardiothoracic-Surgery, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Ernst-Grube Str 40, Halle, Germany.



A decline in the function of all organs can be detected during ageing. Although the trend appears to be stable, deviation within the elderly population is much greater in comparison to young controls. The aim of the study was to identify a marker of senescence which correlates to heart function. Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) accumulate with age and are associated with degenerative diseases.


Carboxymethyllysine (CML) concentrations in the pericardial fluid (as a measure of AGEs) were analysed with ELISA technique in 75 patients undergoing cardiac surgery and correlated with clinical parameters and outcome of these patients.


CML content of pericardial fluid increases significantly with age. AGEs show an inverse correlation to left ventricular ejection fraction. High CML levels correlate with poor outcome of patients as shown by adverse cardiac events, prolonged ventilation time and prolonged stay within the Intensive Care Unit. Within all parameters, AGE concentration of the pericardial fluid fits better with the outcome of the patients in comparison to age alone. Interestingly, medical treatment with nitrates correlates with increased CML content.


AGEs, in addition to being a marker of senescence, appear to represent a prognostic factor in cardiac surgery, which can be used as a predictor of patient outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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