Specific variants of genes involved in inflammation and blood vessel constriction are strongly associated with kidney damage in patients undergoing major heart surgery, researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found.
While renal dysfunction after heart surgery is a common occurrence, until now researchers have been unable to predict with any certainty which patients – based on their personal and medical characteristics – are at the highest risk. The current analysis showed that patients with the particular genetic variants, or polymorphisms, have a collective two- to four-fold greater likelihood of suffering renal dysfunction after heart surgery.
This is important, the researchers said, since one out of every 12 patients who undergo heart surgery suffers serious kidney impairment. While most cases of this kidney injury are transient, up to two percent of patients will require kidney dialysis, with 60 percent of those patients dying before hospital discharge. Since more than 750,000 patients worldwide undergo heart surgery every year, the magnitude of the problem is large, the researchers said.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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