Perceived stress, psychological well-being and the activity of neutrophils in patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


This study explored relationships, before and after surgery, between perceived stress and the activity of white-blood cells (neutrophils) in 82 patients undergoing heart surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass surgery (CPB).

On the evening before surgery and at follow-up, 6-weeks after discharge, patients completed self-administered standard psychological measures. Small peripheral blood samples were taken, from which neutrophil activity was quantified using nitro-blue tetrazolium (NBT) and luminoldependant chemiluminescence (phagocytic capacity).

There were consistent, statistically significant associations between stress and percent age NBT cells at baseline and at follow-up. Regression analysis showed that perceived stress was a predictor of neutrophil activity at follow-up suggesting that higher levels of stress are associated with higher levels of activity. Results from the phagocytic capacity data support and strengthen the NBT findings; in response to stimuli the phagocytic capacity of the neutrophils is reduced at baseline (high stress) and increased at follow-up (lower stress). Significant decreases were found on perceived stress, anxiety, depression, negative affect and health-related stress at follow-up. Patients' self-efficacy was high at baseline and remained high throughout the study.

Results highlighted a consistent, significant relationship between perceived stress and the ‘activity’ of neutrophils. The implications of this finding are worthy of exploration given that stressactivated neutrophils may adversely influence health outcomes.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles