Increased Inflammation in Pericardial Fluid Persists 48 Hours After Cardiac Surgery
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Cardiac surgery causes direct trauma to cardiac tissue, breaches the pericardium, and disrupts the normal composition of the fluid largely produced from the myocardial interstitium and epicardial and visceral pericardium. This leaves the heart exposed to pericardial fluid (PCF) and mediastinal contents comprising inflammatory cells and their products that now bathe the heart. This can potentially have adverse effects on the thin-walled atria leading to postoperative atrial fibrillation (AF).1 After cardiac surgery, the pericardium remains open, and chest drains are routinely placed to prevent fluid accumulation around the heart. Here, we describe the concentration and trajectory of blood proinflammatory factors in the PCF after cardiac surgery over time. The study protocol was approved by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Institutional Review Board approval and informed consent were obtained from all patients.
PCF (n=19) was collected immediately after pericardiotomy (time 0) and from the pericardial drains at times 4, 12, 24, and 48 hours after surgery. The patient population (mean age, 60±3 years) included 26.3% women and 26.3% blacks undergoing cardiac surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, n=14; coronary artery bypass graft+valve procedure, n=3; valve procedure alone, n=2). Patients with ventricular assist devices, AF surgery, thoracic aorta surgery, and AF within 6 months prior were excluded. All participants who had valve replacement (with or without coronary artery bypass graft) underwent on-pump surgeries. Of the patients undergoing coronary artery bypass …