The relationship between visceral ischemia, proinflammatory cytokines, and organ injury in patients undergoing thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair

Crit Care Med. 2000 Sep;28(9):3191-7. doi: 10.1097/00003246-200009000-00013.


Objectives: Plasma proinflammatory, anti-inflammatory cytokine, and soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor concentrations were examined in hospitalized patients after abdominal and thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA) repair, with and without left atrial femoral bypass. Changes in plasma cytokine concentrations were related to the duration of visceral ischemia and the frequency rate of postoperative, single, or multiple system organ dysfunction (MSOD).

Design: Prospective, observational study.

Setting: Two academic referral centers in the United States and The Netherlands.

Patients: We included 16 patients undergoing TAAA repair without left atrial femoral bypass, 12 patients undergoing TAAA repair with left atrial femoral bypass, and nine patients undergoing infrarenal aortic aneurysm repair.

Measurements and main results: Timed, arterial blood sampling for proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine and soluble TNF receptor concentrations (p55 and p75), and prospective assessment of postoperative single and MSOD. Plasma appearance of TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and IL-10 peaked 1 to 4 hrs after TAAA repair, and concentrations were significantly elevated compared with infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (p < .05). Left atrial femoral bypass significantly reduced the duration of visceral ischemia (p < .05) and the systemic TNF-alpha, p75, and IL-10 responses (p < .05). Plasma TNF-alpha concentrations >150 pg/mL were more common in patients with extended visceral ischemia times (>40 mins). Additionally, patients with early peak TNF-alpha concentrations >150 pg/mL and IL-6 levels >1,000 pg/mL developed MSOD more frequently than patients without these elevated plasma cytokine levels (both p < .05).

Conclusions: Thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm repair results in the increased plasma appearance of TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and shed TNF receptors. The frequency and magnitude of postoperative organ dysfunction after TAAA repair is associated with an increased concentration of the cytokines, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 and the increased plasma levels of these cytokines appear to require extended visceral ischemia times.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Thoracic / surgery*
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Ischemia / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / diagnosis
  • Multiple Organ Failure / immunology
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / blood
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / immunology*
  • Viscera / blood supply*


  • Cytokines
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor