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Surgeon. 2008 Jun;6(3):162-71.

Understanding the inflammatory response to cardiac surgery.

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Department of Surgery, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.


The systemic inflammatory response to cardiac surgery is common, and resultant impairment of multiple organ function is generally mild or subclinical due to physiological reserve within organ systems. Unfortunately, the changing profile of patients referred for surgery suggests that the systemic inflammatory response may prominently influence surgical outcome in the future. Older, co-morbid patients with more limited physiological reserve are being referred for complex lengthy procedures, and paediatric surgery has witnessed a shift to earlier complex primary correction or palliation involving long cardiopulmonary bypass times or a period of suboptimal organ perfusion using circulatory arrest or low flow cardiopulmonary bypass. Unique to cardiac surgery is the predictability of the inflammatory response, but prophylactic therapies have not translated into clinical benefit, which the preconditioning phenomenon may address.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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