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Simple Blood Test can Identify Risk of Death after Surgery

Simple Blood Test can Identify Risk of Death after Surgery

(epharmanews)- Researchers have found that a simple blood test during the first three days after a major surgery can help identify which patients are more likely to die within one month of the surgery date, according to a new Canadian study.

This blood test is conducted to identify a protein called Troponin T, which is the enzyme that is secreted by the heart when it is injured. Doctors usually perform this test when they expect the patient is experiencing a heart attack. However, it is not routinely performed after major surgeries. Researchers expect that this protein can help identify which patients are in risk of death after surgery.

The results are from the VISION study, the largest international prospective study evaluating complications after surgery.

“This study has substantial potential to change how patients are monitored after surgery,” said Dr. Jean Rouleau, scientific director of the Institute for Circulatory and Respiratory Health of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“These results hold substantial promise that through measuring troponin blood tests after surgery, physicians can identify which patients are at high-risk of dying and this can allow them to consider enhanced monitoring and interventions in an attempt to improve outcomes. This is a good example of how a carefully conducted clinical study can impact on patient care,” Rouleau said.

Researchers in McMaster University conducted a major study which included 15, 133 patients from different countries. Troponin T levels were tested daily during the first three days after surgery. Patients were followed in hospital and at 30 days after surgery.

The results of this study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that increased Troponin T levels during the first three days after surgery were associated with a higher risk of death within the first two weeks after surgery.

Around the world, more than 200 million adults undergo major, non-cardiac, surgeries every year. Surgery activates pathways of inflammation, stress, and clotting that predispose the heart to injury. As a result, many patients suffer heart attacks after surgery. The majority of these patients, however, will not experience chest pain.

Researchers found that most patients in this study survived for at least six days. During this time Troponin T levels were significantly increasing. This provides enough time for doctors to intervene armed with anti-coagulants and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
The results of this study, funded by 60 international scientific organizations, require more research to be proved and considered as a post-surgical routine.

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Prepared by: Marcell Shehwaro

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