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Clinical trial

Volatile Anesthetics to Reduce Mortality in Cardiac Surgery

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Last updated:2nd Apr 2014

There is initial evidence that the choice of anesthesia can influence survival in the specific setting of coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG).

A recent international consensus conference included volatile agents among the few drugs/techniques/strategies that might reduce perioperative mortality in cardiac surgery and that should be further studied. Volatile anesthetics (desflurane, isoflurane and sevoflurane) have non-anesthetic pharmacological characteristics that confer cardiac protection when compared to Total IntraVenous Anesthesia (TIVA). Several randomized controlled studies were summarized in a meta-analysis that documented a reduction in perioperative cardiac troponin release and mortality in patients receiving volatile anesthetics when compared to patients receiving a TIVA. There are four published studies (Bignami et al. 2009) (De Hert et al. 2009) (Jackobsen et al. 2007) (Landoni et al. 2007) suggesting that these benefits can translate into a reduced mortality rate in patients receiving volatile agents. The level of evidence for these four studies is not high (one meta-regression, one underpowered randomized controlled study, one retrospective study and one meta-analysis of small randomized studies) and there is need for a large multicentre randomized controlled study to confirm these findings, as suggested by the international consensus conference on this topic published in 2011 (Landoni et al 2011).

The purpose is to provide a large multicentre controlled randomized trial to demonstrate that volatile anesthetics can reduce 1 year mortality from 3% to 2% in patients undergoing CABG (either with or without cardiopulmonary bypass).

The results of this study can support the use of volatile agents in all CABG procedures worldwide (more than 500.000 per year) with 2.500 lives saved per year (in the hypothesis that nowadays half the procedures are performed with a TIVA and that 1 year mortality can be reduced from 3% to 2% using volatile agents).

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Study start date 2014-04-02

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