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OBJECTIVE: Cardiopulmonary bypass is regarded as an important contributor to renal injury, whereas off-pump surgery is considered less damaging. Cystatin C, a cystine protease inhibitor, is more sensitive and specific than creatinine in the assessment of renal function. We assessed the value of Cystatin C in quantifying clinical and subclinical renal injury following on-pump and off-pump cardiac surgery. METHODS: Sixty consecutive patients were recruited: 30 patients undergoing on-pump CABG and 30 patients undergoing off-pump CABG. Blood samples were collected pre-operatively and on days 1, 2 and 4 postoperatively to measure serum creatinine and serum Cystatin C. Urinary samples were collected concurrently to measure microalbumin and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase, denoting changes in renal glomerular and tubular function respectively. RESULTS: The off-pump group were older (65+/-11 vs. 61+/-8 years; P=0.046), had a higher mean Parsonnet score (9.4+/-6.2 vs. 5.4+/-3.6, P<0.01) and received fewer grafts (2.4+/-0.9 vs. 3.1+/-0.7; P<0.01) compared to the on-pump group. The groups were otherwise matched with respect to preoperative renal function and left ventricular function. Patients undergoing on-pump CABG had greater increases in all four parameters of renal injury. Adjustment for preoperative differences increased the size and significance of the effect of off-pump vs. on-pump surgery (percent difference 13%; 95% CI 2-26 for creatinine, and 16%; 95% CI 4-29 for Cystatin C). Cystatin and creatinine were strongly correlated with each other. CONCLUSIONS: Avoidance of cardiopulmonary bypass may reduce renal injury particularly in higher risk patients. Cystatin C proved to be a simple and sensitive measure of overall renal function and can be used in the routine assessment of renoprotective strategies.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cardiothorac Surg

Publication Date





893 - 898


Aged, Albuminuria, Area Under Curve, Biomarkers, Coronary Artery Bypass, Coronary Artery Bypass, Off-Pump, Coronary Disease, Creatinine, Cystatin C, Cystatins, Female, Humans, Kidney Diseases, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Selection, Postoperative Period, Prospective Studies, Sensitivity and Specificity, Statistics, Nonparametric