Background & aims: Concerns have been raised about potential neurological injury related to exogenous glutamate. In cardiac surgery glutamate has been administered as a putative cardioprotective agent by cardioplegia or intravenous infusion. In the GLUTAMICS trial, in addition to surveillance of clinical neurological injuries, a prespecified subgroup was analyzed with regard to postoperative S-100B levels to detect potential subclinical neurological injury related to glutamate infusion.
Methods: Sixty-nine patients operated on for unstable coronary syndrome were randomized to intravenous infusion of glutamate (n=35) or saline (n=34) perioperatively. Plasma levels of S-100B were obtained on the third postoperative day.
Results: S-100B in the glutamate group and the control group were 0.079+/-0.034microg/L and 0.090+/-0.042microg/L respectively (p=0.245). There were no patients with stroke or mortality. Three patients in the control group and two in the glutamate group had postoperative confusion. These patients had significantly elevated S-100B compared with those without confusion (0.132+/-0.047vs 0.081+/-0.036microg/L; p=0.003). Overall, 21 patients had S-100B above reference level (> or =0.10microg/L) and these patients had significantly more calcifications in the ascending aorta on epiaortic scanning.
Conclusions: Intravenous glutamate infusion during surgery for unstable coronary artery disease did not initiate a sustained elevation of plasma S-100B. Thus, no evidence for subclinical neurological injury related to glutamate infusion was found. In contrast, postoperative elevation of plasma S-100B was linked to calcification of the ascending aorta and postoperative confusion.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00489827.
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