Routine use of Corticosteroids to Prevent Inflammation Response in Cardiac Surgery

Author(s): Tim Nebelsiek, Andres Beiras-Fernandez, Erich Kilger, Patrick Mohnle, Florian Weis

Journal Name: Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery
Continued as Recent Advances in Cardiovascular Drug Discovery

Volume 7 , Issue 3 , 2012


Cardiac surgery, especially if it involves cardiopulmonary bypass, is associated with a severe systemic inflammatory response. It is characterized by complement activation and initiation of coagulation, fibrinolysis and kallikrein cascades. Consecutive activation of immunoregulatory cells results in an extensive release of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. This inflammatory storm is related to organ dysfunction or failure and correlates with postoperative morbidity.

In order to attenuate this deleterious inflammatory response in the perioperative period alternative surgical techniques, novel extracorporeal circulation devices and immunomodulatory pharmacological strategies are in focus of contemporary research.

Since decades corticosteroids have been used and studied in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Although it could be shown that glucocorticoids seem to change the pro-inflammatory cytokine profile in a favourable manner, it still remains controversial if this effect translates into a better clinical outcome. Several clinical trials have proclaimed an association between this inflammatory response and the incidence of major complications i.e, myocardial infarction and pulmonary complications, but until now they have failed to show conclusive results.

This article describes the different types and recommended dose schemes of corticosteroids in the perioperative period of cardiac surgery along with the discussion of few patents. It will comment on potential side effects and review the effect on the postoperative outcome.

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary bypass, corticoids, diabetes, inflammation, infections, postoperative morbidity

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Page: [170 - 174]
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.2174/157489012803832829
Price: $65

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