Prevention of post-cardiopulmonary bypass acute kidney injury by endothelin A receptor blockade

Crit Care Med. 2011 Apr;39(4):793-802. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e318206d563.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether administration of a specific endothelin A receptor antagonist, sitaxsentan sodium, would prevent the development of post-cardiopulmonary bypass acute kidney injury in swine.

Design: Experimental study.

Setting: Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Interventions: Adult pigs (n = 8 per group) were randomized to undergo a sham procedure, cardiopulmonary bypass, or cardiopulmonary bypass plus administration of endothelin A receptor antagonist (RA), with recovery and reassessment at 24 hrs.

Measurements and main results: Cardiopulmonary bypass resulted in a significant reduction in creatinine clearance relative to sham pigs (mean difference for cardiopulmonary bypass vs. sham, -50.3 mL/min [95% confidence interval -89.2 to -11.4 mL/min], p = .008). This was reversed by the administration of endothelin A RA during cardiopulmonary bypass (mean difference for cardiopulmonary bypass + endothelin A RA vs. cardiopulmonary bypass, +43.3 mL/min [95% confidence interval +3.3 to +83.4 mL/min], p = .030). Cardiopulmonary bypass also resulted in a significant rise in the specific urinary biomarker of acute kidney injury interleukin-18 compared to sham procedures (mean difference +209 pg/mL [95% confidence interval +119 to +299 pg/mL], p < .001) that was reversed by endothelin A receptor antagonist administration. Post-cardiopulmonary bypass kidney injury was associated with vascular endothelial injury and dysfunction, reduced nitric oxide bioavailability, inflammation, and a significant increase in the expression of the paracrine vasoconstrictors adenosine and endothelin-1. In post-cardiopulmonary bypass kidneys at 24 hrs there was persistent hypoxia at the level of the outer medulla, cortical adenosine triphosphate depletion, and evidence of proximal tubule epithelial cell stress manifest as phenotypic change. There was no evidence of acute tubular necrosis. Administration of endothelin A RA to cardiopulmonary bypass pigs reversed endothelial dysfunction, regional hypoxia, inflammation, and tubular changes.

Conclusion: In this model, post-cardiopulmonary bypass acute kidney injury is associated with endothelial dysfunction, regional tissue hypoxia, and proximal tubular epithelial cell stress but not acute tubular necrosis. Antagonism of the endothelin-1 A receptor reversed these changes and may represent a therapeutic target for the prevention of post-cardiac surgery acute kidney injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / pathology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Animals
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Endothelin A Receptor Antagonists*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Interleukin-18 / urine
  • Isoxazoles / pharmacology
  • Isoxazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Proteinuria / metabolism
  • Renal Circulation / drug effects
  • Renal Circulation / physiology
  • Swine
  • Thiophenes / pharmacology
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use*


  • Endothelin A Receptor Antagonists
  • Interleukin-18
  • Isoxazoles
  • Thiophenes
  • Creatinine
  • sitaxsentan