BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of high-dose nitroglycerine administered during cardiopulmonary bypass on the intraoperative cerebral saturation and postoperative serum creatinine concentration in cardiac surgery. METHODS: In a retrospective cohort study, a total of 239 patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass at a tertiary medical center were included. General anesthesia consisted of volatile anesthetic and either intravenous loading of high-dose nitroglycerin (infusion rate 10 to 20 mg·h with a total dose of ≥0.5 mg·kg) starting from rewarming of cardiopulmonary bypass throughout the end of the surgery (NTG group; N = 96) or without high-dose nitroglycerin (control group; N = 143). Data for intraoperative cerebral saturation and serum creatinine concentrations before and after cardiac surgery were collected. Propensity score method was used to adjust for potential confounders. RESULTS: Patients receiving high-dose nitroglycerin had significantly lower mean arterial pressure and hematocrit levels during and after cardiopulmonary bypass. The risk of intraoperative cerebral desaturation was left-sided 23.9% versus 38.5% (p = 0.023), right-sided 28.1% versus 35.7% in the NTG and control groups, respectively. The risk of new-onset stroke and postoperative dialysis was 2.1% versus 6.3% and 1.0% versus 3.5% in the NTG and control groups, respectively. CONCLUSION: An infusion of high-dose nitroglycerin initiating at rewarming of cardiopulmonary bypass and throughout the postbypass interval may induce hypotension and hemodilution in cardiac surgical patients. Cerebral saturation and renal function were well maintained without increasing the risk of stroke and renal replacement therapy after cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.
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