Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9880

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Reduced NGF-Serum Concentrations in Coronary Artery Disease Patients Increase after Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting

Stephan Köhler, Sems Malte Tugtekin, Utz Kappert, Manuel Willbring, Sarah Eckart, Rainer Hellweg and Undine E Lang

Background: Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, but neurological deficits are the most devastating complications of its treatment, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG). As Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) has been implicated in the modulation of inflammatory and fibroproliferative mechanisms leading to atherosclerosis as well as in neuroprotection and survival of neurons, the time course of NGF serum concentrations during CABG has been studied. Methods: Twenty-six male patients were scheduled for coronary artery bypass grafting and NGF levels have been measured 1 hour before the operation started and 2, 5 and 120 hours postoperatively. Pre-operation values of NGFs were compared to healthy controls. Results: We found significantly lower NGF serum concentrations in coronary artery disease patients (n=26, age: 68.8 ± 5.5 years, mean NGF: 13.04 ± 32.1 pg/ml) as compared to age-matched healthy controls (n=20, age: 64.35 ± 4.15, mean NGF: 29.54 ± 24.23 pg/ml). A significant increase of NGF was found 120 hours after operation (Z=3.26, p=0.001). Conclusion: NGF seems to be decreased in coronary artery disease and is increased by operative coronary revascularization procedures. Changes occurring during cardiac surgery may indicate beneficial regenerative processes but may also implicate neuronal alterations induced by operative procedures.