Background: Cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) causes a systemic inflammatory process which can lead to multiple organ failure and postoperative morbidity. Recent animal and human studies suggested a possible involvement of leptin in the systemic inflammatory response. Aim: To characterize the response of leptin to open heart surgery (OHS) and the relationship between the time course of leptin levels and the post-operative clinical course, and to examine the effect of exogenous glucocorticoids. Patients and methods: Forty-seven pediatric patients, undergoing OHS for congenital heart disease were studied. Thirty-four patients (Group 1) received methylprednisolone during CPB while 13 (group 2) did not. Serial blood samples were collected perioperatively and up to 24 h after surgery, and assayed for leptin and cortisol. Results: All patients' leptin levels decreased significantly during CPB (to 44-48% of baseline, p<0.001); they then increased, peaking at 12 h post-operatively. The levels of groups 1 and 2 were similar up to 8 h post-operatively; thereafter, those of group 1 were significantly higher. Recovery of leptin levels in patients with a more complicated post-operative course was comparatively slower. Cortisol levels of all patients increased significantly during CPB (p<0.001), gradually decreasing afterwards. Cortisol and leptin levels were inversely correlated in both patients' groups. Conclusions: CPB is associated with acute changes in circulating leptin levels. A complicated postoperative course is associated with lower leptin levels which are inversely correlated with cortisol levels. Leptin may participate in post-CPB inflammatory and hemodynamic responses.
- Cardio-pulmonary bypass
- Congenital heart disease