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Von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF Ag) is a marker of endothelial injury which has been shown to rise during surgical procedures, including cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). The aim of this study was to determine whether intermittent aortic cross-clamping during CPB causes the release of vWF Ag from the coronary vascular bed, which would suggest coronary vascular endothelial cell perturbation. Fifteen consecutive patients undergoing CPB with aortic cross-clamping during coronary artery bypass surgery and/or valve replacement by the same surgeon were studied. Paired venous and coronary sinus samples were taken pre- and post-thoracotomy, prior to cross-clamping on CPB, and 1, 5 and 10 minutes after release of the aortic cross-clamp. Plasma vWF Ag (IU/ml) was measured by ELISA. Venous vWF Ag measured prior to skin incision was 0.75 +/- 0.11 IU/ml (mean +/- SEM) and fell to 0.53 +/- 0.07 IU/ml after institution of CPB but prior to aortic cross-clamping (P < 0.01 vs pre-incision sample). Coronary sinus vWF Ag measured prior to aortic cross-clamping was 0.54 +/- 0.06 IU/ml (P = NS vs paired venous sample). At 1, 5 and 10 min after release of the aortic cross-clamp there was a progressive rise in vWF Ag in both venous and coronary sinus samples (1 min: 0.67 +/- 0.05 IU/ml vs 0.75 +/- 0.10 IU/ml, 5 min: 0.73 +/- 0.07 IU/ml vs 0.76 +/- 0.09 IU/ml, 10 min: 0.74 +/- 0.08 IU/ml vs 0.79 +/- 0.09 IU/ml; P = NS venous vs coronary sinus, respectively). Levels of vWF Ag were highest immediately prior to the termination of CPB (venous: 0.95 +/- 0.12 IU/ml; coronary sinus: 0.91 +/- 0.14 IU/ml). We conclude that cardiac surgery using CPB with aortic cross-clamping is associated with a progressive rise in coronary sinus and venous levels of vWF Ag.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cardiothorac Surg

Publication Date





18 - 21


Adult, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Antigens, Aortic Valve, Biomarkers, Cardiopulmonary Bypass, Constriction, Coronary Vessels, Creatine Kinase, Endothelium, Vascular, Heart Valve Prosthesis, Hematocrit, Humans, Isoenzymes, Middle Aged, Mitral Valve, Postoperative Care, Preoperative Care, Veins, von Willebrand Factor