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BACKGROUND: Myocardial inflammation and injury occur during coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. We aimed to characterise these processes during routine CABG surgery to inform the diagnosis of type 5 myocardial infarction. METHODS: We assessed 87 patients with stable coronary artery disease who underwent elective CABG surgery. Myocardial inflammation, injury and infarction were assessed using plasma inflammatory biomarkers, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) using both late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO). RESULTS: Systemic humoral inflammatory biomarkers (myeloperoxidase, interleukin-6, interleukin-8 and c-reactive protein) increased in the post-operative period with C-reactive protein concentrations plateauing by 48 h (median area under the curve (AUC) 7530 [interquartile range (IQR) 6088 to 9027] mg/L/48 h). USPIO-defined cellular myocardial inflammation ranged from normal to those associated with type 1 myocardial infarction (median 80.2 [IQR 67.4 to 104.8] /s). Plasma hs-cTnI concentrations rose by ≥50-fold from baseline and exceeded 10-fold the upper limit of normal in all patients. Two distinct patterns of peak cTnI release were observed at 6 and 24 h. After CABG surgery, new LGE was seen in 20% (n = 18) of patients although clinical peri-operative type 5 myocardial infarction was diagnosed in only 9% (n = 8). LGE was associated with the delayed 24-h peak in hs-cTnI and its magnitude correlated with AUC plasma hs-cTnI concentrations (r = 0.33, p 10-fold the 99th centile upper limit of normal that is not attributable to inflammatory or ischemic injury alone. Peri-operative type 5 myocardial infarction is often unrecognised and is associated with a delayed 24-h peak in plasma hs-cTnI concentrations.

Original publication




Journal article


J cardiothorac surg

Publication Date





CABG, Inflammation, Myocardial infarction, Troponin, Type 5, Aged, Biomarkers, Coronary Artery Bypass, Coronary Artery Disease, Elafin, Female, Humans, Intraoperative Complications, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine, Male, Middle Aged, Myocardial Reperfusion Injury, Myocarditis, Protease Inhibitors, Troponin I