Cytokine secretion after cardiac surgery and its relationship to postoperative fever

John D. Mitchell, Hilary P. Grocott, Barbara Phillips-Bute, Joseph P. Mathew, Mark F. Newman, Shahar Bar-Yosef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


A relationship between the inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and fever after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) is assumed, but has not been studied. Therefore, we sought to assess the temporal pattern of cytokines' elevation and its association with post-CABG fever. In 355 primary elective CABG patients, serum cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1ra, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8) were measured before surgery, at cessation of CPB and 2.5, 4.5, 24, and 48 h post-CPB. Fever was defined as a temperature >38 °C. TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-8 peaked within the first 2.5 h after bypass, returning to near normal levels by 24 h and increasing again by 48 h. IL-6 peaked early after bypass and remained elevated at 48 h. IL-1ra was elevated early, before returning to baseline by 24 h. Postoperative fever developed in 27% of patients. Increased IL-6 levels and male gender were significant predictors of fever (C-index = 0.68; p = 0.0003). No other cytokine showed a significant association with fever development. Of note is the previously undescribed bimodal pattern of cytokines' secretion after CABG. The association of fever with IL-6 levels suggests inflammatory mediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Cytokines
  • IL-6
  • Inflammatory response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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