Endothelial dysfunction in the early postoperative period after major colon cancer surgery

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Background. Evidence suggests that endothelial dysfunction in the early postoperative period promotes myocardial injury after non-cardiac surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of colon cancer surgery on endothelial function and the association with the l-arginine-nitric oxide pathway postoperatively.

Methods. Patients undergoing elective colon cancer surgery (n = 31) were included in this prospective observational cohort study. Endothelial function, as measured using the reactive hyperaemia index (RHI), was assessed non-invasively using digital pulse tonometry. RHI and plasma concentrations of L-arginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), dihydrobiopterin and biopterin metabolites, tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) and total biopterin were measured before surgery, at four h after surgery and at postoperative day one and two. Cardiac troponin I was measured before surgery and once daily on postoperative days one to four.

Results. Preoperative RHI was 1.86 (1.64 – 2.11) and decreased significantly during the observation period (linear mixed effects model of serial measurements, P = 0.015). Both L-arginine (P < 0.001) and ADMA (P = 0.024) decreased during the postoperative period. All biopterin metabolites were significantly decreased after surgery. A significant positive correlation was found between logAUC(l-arginine/ADMA) and logAUC(RHI) (P = 0.015) and between logAUC(L-arginine/ADMA) and logAUC(BH4) (P = 0.015). None of the patients had cardiac troponin I elevations.

Conclusions. RHI was attenuated in the first days after colon cancer surgery indicating acute endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction correlated with disturbances in the L-arginine – nitric oxide pathway. Our findings provide a rationale for investigating the hypothesized association between acute endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular complications after non-cardiac surgery.

Clinical trial registration. NCT02344771.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles