Metabolic changes after cardiac surgery

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2001 Mar;4(2):149-55. doi: 10.1097/00075197-200103000-00012.


The metabolic changes that occur after cardiac surgery result from a complex interaction between the effects of surgery and extracorporeal circulation per se, the inflammatory response to surgical trauma and extracorporeal circulation, perioperative use of hypothermia, the cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses characteristic to cardiac surgery, and the drugs and blood products used to support circulation during and after operation. These changes include among others increased oxygen consumption and energy expenditure and increased secretion of insulin, growth hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Other changes include decreased total-Trijodthyronine levels, hyperglycemia, hyperlactatemia, increased glutamate, aspartate and free fatty acid concentrations, hypokalemia, an increased production of inflammatory cytokines and increased consumption of complement and adhesion molecules. There is evidence that better control of metabolic abnormalities improves the patients' outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia / prevention & control
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Regional Blood Flow