The Cardioprotective Effects of N acetylcysteine as an Additive to the Blood Cardioplegia During Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Document Type: Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Isfahan, Iran.

2 General Practitioner


Introduction: During coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB),
the role of cardioplegic solution which results in cardiac arrest, is critical. This study was planned to evaluate
the clinical impacts of N acetylcysteine (NAC) enriched cold-blood cardioplegia on early reperfusion injury
in patients with ischaemic heart disease undergoing CABG
Methods: In a randomized double blind clinical trial, seventy patients undergoing elective CABG surgery
with CPB were studied. They all underwent similar methods of preoperative medication, anaesthesia and
cardiac surgery. Patients were randomly divided into the case group (cardioplegia plus 50 mg/kg NAC) and
the control group (cardioplegia with the equal volume of normal saline). The incidence of arrhythmias, usage
of DC-shock, pacemaker and inotropic agents during and twenty four hours after surgery, EF five days after
surgery and ICU staying and hospitalization periods in the two groups were compared.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups according to
demographic features, EF before surgery, CPB or aorta clamping times, intraoperative DC shock and
pacemaker requirements and postoperative inotropic necessity (p >0.05). Two groups showed significant
differences in regard to the incidence of arrhythmias (5.7% vs. 22.9%), the inotropic requirement (14.3% vs.
34.3%) during surgery, EF five days after surgery (51.4% vs. 45%) and the mean EF changes
postoperatively in comparison with the preoperative period (0.88 vs. -2.28) (p <0.05).
Conclusion: Addition of N-acetylcysteine to cardioplegic solution can reduce some of the clinical
complications during and after surgery and has positive effects on the postoperative ejection fraction