Blood Test Marker Could Gauge Risks After Heart Surgery – HealthDay News

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THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — About 2 million adults worldwide undergo heart surgery each year, and checking blood levels of a certain protein could help assess their risk of death within 30 days, a new study shows.
Blood tests to check levels of troponin (a type of protein found in heart muscle) have long been used to evaluate the risk of death and serious complications after heart attack, but the tests are not commonly done after heart surgery.
This new study found that elevated troponin levels were associated with an increased risk of death after heart bypass or open heart surgery.
“This study is a landmark for the health teams taking care of patients after cardiac surgery,” said study co-author André Lamy, a professor of surgery at McMaster University in Canada.
“For the first time, we have a marker that is fast and reliable for the monitoring of these patients after cardiac surgery,” Lamy said in a university news release.
This study included nearly 16,000 adult heart surgery patients, average age 63, in 12 countries. By 30 days after surgery, more than 2% of patients had died, and about 3% had experienced a major vascular complication, such as heart attack, stroke or a life-threatening blood clot.
The patients’ troponin levels were measured before and daily for the first few days after surgery.
“We found that the levels of troponin associated with an increased risk of death within 30 days were substantially higher 200 to 500 times the normal value than troponin levels that surgical teams are currently told defines the risk of a patient having one of the most common complications after heart surgery myocardial injury, a heart muscle injury associated with increased deaths,” said lead study author P.J. Devereaux. He’s a senior scientist at McMaster and a cardiologist at Hamilton Health Sciences.
The study was published March 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

There’s more on heart surgery at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCE: McMaster University, news release, March 2, 2022
MONDAY, March 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Patients with congenital heart defects (CHD) with COVID-19 have an increased prevalence of critical COVID-19 illness, according to a research letter published online March 7 in Circulation.
Karrie F. Downing, M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Team in Atlanta, and colleagues compared the prevalence of critical COVID-19 illness (intensive care unit [ICU] admission, invasive mechanical ventilation [IMV], or death) among hospitalized COVID-19 patients with and without CHD using data on inpatient encounters from March 2020 through January 2021.
The researchers found that 0.2 percent of the 235,638 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who were aged 1 to 64 years had CHD. Overall, 68.4 and 58.8 percent of those with and without CHD, respectively, had one or more comorbidity; 12.8 and 1.4 percent of those with and without CHD, respectively, were aged 1 to 17 years. Of the patients with COVID-19 with CHD, more than half were admitted to the ICU, 24.0 percent required IMV, and 11.2 percent died during hospitalization. ICU admission, IMV, and death were more prevalent among patients with COVID-19 with versus without CHD after adjustment (adjusted prevalence ratios, 1.4, 1.8, and 2.0, respectively). Among the patients with CHD, critical COVID-19 outcomes were associated with having comorbidities, male sex, and age 50 to 64 years versus 18 to 29 years.
“More work is needed to identify why the clinical course of COVID-19 disease results in significantly worse outcomes for some hospitalized patients with risk factors for critical COVID-19 illness, like heart defects, and not for others,” Downing said in a statement.
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