Paediatric heart surgery is associated with increased inflammation and the production of reactive oxygen species. Use of the extracorporeal cardiopulmonary bypass during correction of congenital heart defects generates reactive oxygen species by various mechanisms: haemolysis, neutrophil activation, ischaemia reperfusion injury, reoxygenation injury, or depletion of the endogenous antioxidants. The immature myocardium is more vulnerable to reactive oxygen species because of developmental differences compared to the adult heart but also because of associated congenital heart diseases that can deplete its antioxidant reserve. Oxidative stress can be manipulated by various interventions: exogenous antioxidants, use of steroids, cardioplegia, blood prime strategies, or miniaturisation of the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit. However, it is unclear if modulation of the redox pathways can alter clinical outcomes. Further studies powered to look at clinical outcomes are needed to define the role of oxidative stress in paediatric patients.
- Centre for Surgical Research
- Heart Defects, Congenital/surgery
- Myocardial Reperfusion Injury/metabolism
- Oxidative Stress/drug effects
- Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism