Long-Term Leukocyte Filtration Should Be Avoided during Extracorporeal Circulation
In some patients, coronary artery bypass surgery induces postoperative organ dysfunction despite an apparently adequate revascularization and good haemodynamic performance. This complication may be caused by activation of the body's inflammatory systems on blood contact with large foreign surfaces in the extracorporeal circuit. Activated leucocytes may play an important role in organ damage, and it is conceivable that leucocyte removal by filtration may decrease the potential side-effects of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). The aim of the present study was to investigate possible effects of leucocyte filtration during the whole CPB period in elective coronary artery bypass surgery on biochemical and clinical parameters. Forty patients were randomized to extracorporeal circulation using a leucocyte-depleting filter (group L, n = 20) or to extracorporeal circulation with no leucocyte filter (group C, n = 20). In the leucocyte-depleted group, the mean total white blood cell counts increased from 6.3 (95% confidence interval, 5.5-7.0) x 10(9)/l to 7.0 (5.7-8.3) x 10(9)/l during extracorporeal circulation and in the control group from 6.3 (5.2-7.3) x 10(9)/l to 8.5 (7.2-9.8) x 10(9)/l. The intergroup difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.84). A substantial increase in concentrations of interleukin-6, myeloperoxidase and complement activation products were observed in both groups without statistically significant intergroup differences. It is concluded that the leucocyte-depletion filter did not cause a significant reduction of circulating white blood cells during CPB, and there were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the inflammatory markers studied.