May 28, 2012

Obese Patients Face Higher Risks During Heart Surgery

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study shows that oxidative stress may put obese patients at an increased risk of developing kidney damage after heart surgery. Oxidative stress generates harmful unstable reactive oxygen molecules. The study is appearing in the upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

More studies are needed to see if effective antioxidants can help reduce the risk. Acute kidney injury (AKI) affects 5% to 30% of heart surgery patients. AKI is an abrupt decline in kidney function and sometimes arises after heart surgery because the kidneys are deprived of normal blood flow during the procedure.

Frederic Billings IV, MD (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine) and members of his team evaluated information gathered from 445 heart surgery patients, 25% of whom developed AKI. The major findings of the study showed obese patients had an increased risk of developing AKI; and that oxidative stress plays a role in the link between obesity and AKI.

"The identification of oxidative stress during surgery as a possible mechanism for the development of kidney injury following surgery provides an opportunity to develop and test therapeutic treatments for surgical patients," Dr. Billings was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: American Society of Nephrology, May 2012