Obese Patients Face Increased Risk of Kidney Damage After Heart Surgery


Acute kidney injury affects 5% to 30% of heart surgery patients.

Newswise — Washington, DC (May 24, 2012) — Oxidative stress may put obese patients at increased risk of developing kidney damage after heart surgery, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Effective antioxidants or other therapies that reduce oxidative stress might help lower this risk, particularly among obese patients.

Acute kidney injury (AKI), an abrupt decline in kidney function, is an increasingly prevalent and potentially serious condition following major surgery. Sometimes AKI arises after heart surgery because the kidneys are deprived of normal blood flow during the procedure.

To see if extra body weight puts patients at increased risk for developing AKI following heart surgery, Frederic Billings IV, MD (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine) and his colleagues evaluated information from 445 heart surgery patients, 112 of whom (25%) developed AKI.

Among the major findings:• Obese patients (body mass index, or BMI, ≥30 kg/m2) had an increased risk of developing AKI; specifically, a 26.5% increased risk per 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI.• Oxidative stress, which generates harmful unstable reactive oxygen molecules, plays a role in the link between obesity and AKI.

“The identification of oxidative stress during surgery as a possible mechanism for the development of kidney injury following surgery provides an opportunity to develop and test therapeutic treatments for surgical patients,” said Dr. Billings. Study co-authors include Mias Pretorius, MD, Jonathan Schildcrout, PhD, Nathaniel Mercaldo, John Byrne, MD, T. Alp Ikizler, MD, Nancy J. Brown, MD (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine).

Disclosures: The authors reported no financial disclosures.

The article, entitled “Obesity and Oxidative Stress Predict Acute Kidney Injury Following Cardiac Surgery,” will appear online at http://jasn.asnjournals.org/ on May 24, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011090940.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.Founded in 1966, and with more than 13,500 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

# # #

0.49192