Increased Cardiac Enzymes Following Heart Bypass Surgery Associated with Increased Mortality

Researchers find that even small amounts of damage to heart muscle during coronary bypass surgery is associated with an increased risk of death.

New York, NY
 – February 8, 2011 /Press Release/  –– 

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that even small amounts of damage to heart muscle during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is associated with an increased risk of death, even among patients who initially do well following surgery. The study is published in the February 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Small elevations of troponin and creatine phosphokkinase – chemicals called enzymes that are released by heart muscle cells when they are damaged – have often been dismissed as unimportant. But Mount Sinai researchers examined data from almost 19,000 bypass patients and found a direct correlation between enzyme levels and mortality.

"There is a strong, graded association of enzyme elevation with risk of death; the greater the elevation, the greater the risk," said the study’s lead author Michael J. Domanski, MD, Professor, Cardiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Director of Heart Failure Research at Mount Sinai Heart. "The increased risk is present even at low enzyme levels and continues for some years.

"The findings are particularly useful in designing clinical trials of new heart treatments, and may ultimately prove useful in evaluating the quality of procedures performed on the heart," said Dr. Domanski.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation's best hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

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