(RxWiki News) While heart surgery is meant to save people's lives, it can sometimes lead to other problems or even death. Now, researchers have found a way to spot patients who are at risk of death after heart surgery.
Patients who face a higher risk of heart attack and death after heart surgery had higher levels of certain proteins. In other words, the proteins are a sign of bad outcomes for patients who have undergone angioplasty - a surgery that opens blocked arteries.
"Certain proteins are a sign of a higher risk of death in heart surgery patients."
The risk of death after angioplasty increases the older a patient is. But age does not give doctors a solid way to measure risk.
According to Dmitriy Feldman, M.D., F.S.C.A.I., from Weill Cornell Medical College, this study shows that levels of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) - two types of proteins - give doctors a way to measure patients' risk of heart attack and death after angioplasty.
If doctors regularly check on these protein levels in angioplasty patients, they could improve the long-term results for these patients.
- Researchers looked at past studies that examined how levels of cTnT and cTnI could predict outcomes after angioplasty
- 22 studies from 1998 to 2009 were used, which included 22,353 patients
- 26 percent of patients had higher levels of cTnT after angioplasty
- 34 percent of patients had higher levels of cTnI after angioplasty
- Researchers followed up with patients for anywhere between three to 67 months
- Long-term risk of death after angioplasty was 5.8 percent for patients with elevated cTn levels, compared to 4.4 percent in those without elevated cTn levels
- Risk of heart attack after angioplasty was 9.2 percent for patients with elevated cTn levels, compared to 5.3 percent for those without elevated cTn levels
- Routine monitoring of cTn levels may help improve long-term outcomes for angioplasty patients