Combined steroid treatment for congenital heart surgery improves oxygen delivery and reduces postbypass inflammatory mediator expression

Valerie A. Schroeder, Jeffery M. Pearl, Steven M. Schwartz, Thomas P. Shanley, Peter B. Manning, David P. Nelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


Background - Steroid administration during cardiopulmonary bypass is thought to improve cardiopulmonary function by modulating bypass-related inflammation. This study was designed to compare preoperative and intraoperative methylprednisolone (MP) to intraoperative MP alone with respect to postbypass inflammation and clinical outcome. Methods and Results - Twenty-nine pediatric patients undergoing bypass procedures were randomly assigned to receive preoperative and intraoperative MP (30 mg/kg 4 hours before bypass and in bypass prime, n = 14) or intraoperative MP only (30 mg/kg, n = 15). Myocardial inflammatory mediator mRNA expression was determined in paired atrial biopsies (before and after bypass) by ribonuclease protection. Before and after bypass, serum IL-6 and IL-10 were measured by ELISA. Postoperative outcome was assessed by intubation time, CICU length of stay, fluid balance, arterio-venous O2 difference (ΔA-VO2), and inotrope requirements. Compared with intraoperative MP alone, combined preoperative and intraoperative MP was associated with reduced myocardial mRNA expression for IL-6, MCP-1, and ICAM-1 both before and after bypass (P<0.05). Patients who received combined steroids had lower serum IL-6 and increased IL-10 at end-bypass (P<0.05), although differences were negligible by 24 hours. Combined MP treatment was associated with reduced fluid requirements, lower body temperature, and lower ΔA-VO2 for the first 24 hours after surgery (P<0.05), along with trends toward improvement in other clinical outcomes. Conclusions - Compared with intraoperative steroid treatment, combined preoperative and intraoperative steroid administration attenuates inflammatory mediator expression more effectively and is associated with improved indexes of O2 delivery in the first 24 hours after congenital heart surgery. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger multicenter trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2823-2828
Number of pages6
Issue number22
StatePublished - Jun 10 2003


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Heart defects, congenital
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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