Reduced complement activation and improved postoperative performance after cardiopulmonary bypass with heparin-coated circuits

Piet G.M. Jansen*, Henk te Velthuis, Rien A.J.M. Huybregts, Reginald Paulus, Eisso R. Bulder, Hans I. van der Spoel, P. Dick Bezemer, Ed H. Slaats, León Eijsman, Charles R.H. Wildevuur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A randomized controlled trial that involved 30 patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting was done to determine the effect of heparin-coated circuits and full heparinization on complement activation, neutrophil-mediated inflammatory response, and postoperative clinical recovery. Peak concentrations of terminal complement complex were 38% lower (p = 0.004) in 15 patients treated with heparin-coated circuits (median 775 μg/L, interquartile range 600 to 996) compared with those in 15 patients treated with uncoated circuits (median 1249 μg/L, interquartile range 988 to 1443). Although no significant intergroup differences in concentrations of polymorphonuclear neutrophil elastase were found, a positive correlation (r s = 0.74, p < 0.0007) was calculated between peak concentrations of terminal complement complex and polymorphonuclear neutrophil elastase. Differences in patient recovery were analyzed with use of a score composed of fluid balance, postoperative intubation time, and the difference between rectal temperature and skin temperature. The score was significantly lower in patients treated with heparin-coated circuits (p = 0.03), whereas its components showed no intergroup significance. We conclude that the use of heparin-coated circuits with full systemic heparinization results in improved biocompatibility, as assessed by complement activation, and leads to an improved postoperative recovery of the patient. (J THORAC CARDIOVASC SURG 1995;110: 829-34).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-834
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995

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