Statins Before Heart Surgery Reduce Complications

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery
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A review article to be published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery suggests the use of statins before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. The drugs are believed to reduce cardiac complications, such as atrial fibrillation, following surgery as well as the risk of death during and after surgery.

Some of the key points of the review include:

  • The use of statins before and after CABG surgery to reduce cardiac complications. 
  • The use of statins to reduce the risk of death during and immediately after CABG surgery.
  • To conduct more research to determine the optimal dose and duration of statins use and explore the benefits of these drugs in reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, or kidney problems after surgery.

The benefit of statins can be explained by the fact that procedures such as CABG surgery usually involve prolonged anaesthesia that can result in an intense inflammatory reaction from the body. This often leads to postoperative complications. Statins help reduce this risk due to their anti-inflammatory properties. 

"Previous research has shown that discontinuation of the medication at the time of surgery is common practice," said Amr F. Barakat, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. "The results of our review call for proactive efforts to counsel patients and surgeons about the benefit of statins -- a benefit that definitely outweighs the risk of rare potential side effects."

Dr. Barakat and colleagues from the University of Florida investigated the use of statins before and after surgery and the impact of the drugs on patient outcomes. They did this by reviewing all related articles in the Medline database through July 2015.

See Also: Negative Statin Stories Impact Patients

Their analysis showed that the use of statins prior to CABG surgery helps protect patients from developing atrial fibrillation. Statins were also found to be associated with a reduced risk of death during and immediately after surgery. The drugs were well-tolerated by patients and the benefits of the drugs clearly outweighed the risk of side effects.

However, the researchers highlight the need for further research to determine the optimal statin dose and duration and to investigate their impact on other areas since the current evidence does not prove their benefit in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or kidney problems after surgery. Dr Barakat points out that it might be a good idea to conduct studies to determine if the benefits of statins expand beyond cardiac complications. 

Source: The Annals of Thoracic Surgery 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

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Published on : Tue, 12 Jan 2016

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CABG, heart surgery, Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting, statins, stroke A review article to be published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery suggests the use of statins before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery. -

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