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Anesth Pain Med. 2014 Jun 23;4(3):e20331. doi: 10.5812/aapm.20331. eCollection 2014 Aug.

Significance of preoperative total lymphocyte count as a prognostic criterion in adult cardiac surgery.

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Rajaei Cardiovascular Medical and Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Evaluation of operational risk is a consequential goal in perioperative management of patients in cardiac surgery. Preoperative total lymphocyte count (PTLC) is a prognostic criterion of adverse major cardiovascular outcomes.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of PTLC as an independent predictor of postoperative morbidity and mortality in cardiac surgery.


Of 1604 patients scheduled for cardiac surgery between September, 2012 and March, 2013, a total of 1171 consecutive patients underwent elective primary valvular heart surgery and coronary artery bypass grafting. The patients were divided to three groups according to their PTLCs. The baseline characteristics and postoperative mortality and morbidity of the patients as well as the intensive care unit (ICU) stay according to the PTLCs were recorded and analyzed. The only inclusion criterion was a preoperative complete blood count. Exclusion criteria included: ages under 18 or over 80 years old, emergency surgery, adult patients with congenital heart disease and previous open heart surgery, and patients with any bacterial or viral infection during two weeks before the surgery. Protocol of anesthetic medications was used in all the patients similarly and according to standard. All the patients were admitted to the ICU after the surgery.


A PTLC < 1500 cells/┬ÁL was associated with significantly high mortality and morbidity (P = 0.0001). In-hospital mortality and major composite morbidity were 9.65% and 28.4%, respectively. Low PTLC was associated with more frequent need for inotropic and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) support (P < 0.001), dialysis-dependent acute renal failure (P = 0.0001), postoperative superficial wound infections (P = 0.0001) and prolong ICU stay (P = 0.0001).


Our study results showed that low PTLC was an independent, valuable prognostic criterion, with high sensitivity and specificity for evaluation of postoperative morbidity and mortality in cardiac surgery.


Cardiopulmonary Bypass; Morbidity; Mortality; Postoperative Complications; Total Lymphocyte Count

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