Altered protein metabolism following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery

Giuseppe Caso, James A. Vosswinkel, Peter J. Garlick, Mohamed K. Barry, Thomas V. Bilfinger, Margaret A. Mcnurlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to investigate the acute effect of CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) surgery on the rates of synthesis of muscle protein, the positive acute-phase protein fibrinogen and the negative acute-phase protein albumin. Synthesis rates of muscle protein, fibrinogen and albumin were measured simultaneously before and 4 h after the end of surgery from the incorporation of L-[2H5]phenylalanine (given at 43 mg/kg of body weight) in 12 patients undergoing CABG surgery. Surgery was performed either with the use of extracorporeal circulation with cardiopulmonary bypass (on-pump; n = 5) or with the beating heart procedure without cardiopulmonary bypass (off-pump; n = 7). Post-surgical muscle protein fractional synthesis rates were decreased by 36 ± 6.5% compared with pre-surgical values (1.59 ± 0.10 compared with 0.97 ± 0.08 %/day respectively; P < 0.001). In contrast, the synthesis rates of both fibrinogen (36 ± 4 compared with 100 ± 11 mg·day -1·kg-1 of body weight; P < 0.0001) and albumin (123 ± 12 compared with 178 ± 19 mg·day -1·kg-1 of body weight; P < 0.001) were both significantly increased after surgery. No significant differences were found between surgery performed with or without cardiopulmonary bypass. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that CABG surgery has a profound effect on protein metabolism, with a differential response of protein synthesis in muscle and liver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-346
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Science
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Albumin
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Fibrinogen
  • Muscle protein synthesis
  • Stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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