Endotoxin release and tumor necrosis factor formation during cardiopulmonary bypass

N J Jansen, W van Oeveren, Y J Gu, M H van Vliet, L Eijsman, C R Wildevuur, NJG Jansen

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Endotoxin, when released into the systemic circulation during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), might induce activation of plasmatic systems and blood cells during CPB, in addition to a material-dependent blood activation during CPB. However, the role of endotoxin in the development of this so-called whole-body inflammatory reaction in CPB is still unclear. We investigated the release of endotoxin into the systemic circulation in relation with the activation of the complement system and in particular the formation of tumor necrosis factor in 10 patients undergoing CPB. Immediately after the start of CPB the endotoxin concentrations increased significantly (p less than 0.01), accompanied by increases in C3a concentration (p less than 0.05). After release of the aortic cross-clamp, there was a second increase in endotoxin followed by a continuous increase in tumor necrosis factor, reaching a peak concentration 1 hour after the end of CPB (p less than 0.01). These observations demonstrate a release of endotoxin into the systemic circulation associated with tumor necrosis factor formation, which contributes to the whole-body inflammatory reaction associated with CPB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-7; discussion 747-8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Aged
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Complement Activation
  • Complement C3a
  • Endotoxins
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


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