Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that the presence of specific variants of genes that control clotting and the contractility, or "tone," of blood vessels can double the ability of physicians to predict those heart surgery patients at greatest risk of bleeding after surgery.
The issue of post-operative bleeding is important, the researchers said, because patients who suffer such episodes have increased rates of additional medical problems and even death. Furthermore, decreasing the rate of postoperative bleeding can have important implications for the health care system, they continued, since an estimated 20 percent of the nations blood supply is used to treat these patients.
"While larger studies are needed to investigate the genetic associations we have uncovered, if our observations are confirmed, genetic screening could become an important part of our pre-operative evaluation of heart surgery patients," said Duke anesthesiologist Ian Welsby, M.D., lead author of a study to be published in the June edition of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis but appearing early on-line.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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