Ischemic postconditioning is a novel strategy for attaining cardioprotection. Remarkable evidence from various in vitro and in vivo animal and human studies have shown significant opioid-induced cardioprotection against myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. The purpose of this study was to assess the cardioprotective effect of sufentanil against I/R injury after on-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Between June 2016 and July 2017, 80 consecutive patients with triple-vessel disease undergoing on-pump CABG were enrolled in this prospective randomized study. The patients assigned to the sufentanil group received a single dose of sufentanil (0.2 μg/kg diluted with 50 cc of saline) 5 minutes before the removal of the aorta cross-clamp, with the sufentanil injected via a cardioplegia needle into the aortic root. In the control group, the same volume of normal saline was injected as a placebo. Cardiac enzymes, the inotrope score, and the outcome data were compared between the 2 groups.
The mean age of the patients was 60.48±7.50 years (range=41–69 y), and men comprised 65.0% of the study population. The levels of CK-MB and cardiac troponin I were significantly lower in the sufentanil group (P<0.001). The amount of inotrope use (P<0.001), the incidence of atrial fibrillation (P=0.014), electrical shock (P=0.007), and the mechanical ventilation time (P<0.001) decreased in the sufentanil group compared with the control group. However, the use of intra-aortic balloon pumps (P=0.247) and the ICU length of stay (P=0.867) were not significantly different between the 2 groups.
The injection of a single dose of sufentanil into the aortic root prior to aorta cross-clamp removal diminished cardiac injury during on-pump CABG in our patients.