Myocardial metabolic monitoring with the microdialysis technique during and after open heart surgery

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Post-operative ischemia after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is well described but effective intervention requires immediate diagnosis. One possible way of increasing efficacy of peri-operative myocardial monitoring is using the microdialysis technique.


In 30 patients undergoing routine CABG, a microdialysis catheter was inserted in the left heart in an area of abnormal ventricular contraction. A second catheter was placed in normal tissue of the right ventricle. Microdialysis measurements were performed at time intervals before, during and 24 h after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and retrospectively compared with standard clinical monitoring and clinical course.


During CPB, both ventricles showed signs of poor tissue oxygenation. Glycerol was significantly higher in the left myocardium (146 ± 67 vs. 72 ± 36 μmol/l) and the glucose/lactate ratio (GLR), as a marker of nutritional disorder of the right ventricle (41 ± 15% vs. 67 ± 17%, P < 0.05), had significantly better values at this time point. Myocardial lactate concentrations were significantly higher in the dyskinetic segments (2.82 ± 0.81 vs. 1.5 ± 0.81 μM). During this period, no abnormal clinical standard monitoring results were observed. Post-operative significantly increased lactate/pyruvate ratios of three patients were clinically associated with peri-operative myocardial infarction (108 ± 67 vs. 38 ± 9, P < 0.05). The lactate/pyruvate ratio started rising before any other standard monitoring tools showed abnormal values.


Peri-operative microdialytic measurements of parameters related to ischemia can be safely performed in a clinical setting, resulting in faster and more reliable detection of ongoing or new ischemia.

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