Glucose, insulin and potassium for heart protection during cardiac surgery

S. Bruemmer-Smith, M. S. Avidan, B. Harris, S. Sudan, R. Sherwood, J. B. Desai, F. Sutherland, J. Ponte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background. Coronary artery bypass grafting with hypothermic cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is associated with myocardial injury. Our study investigated whether an infusion of glucose, insulin and potassium (GIK) during elective coronary artery bypass surgery decreases myocardial cell death. Methods. We measured cardiac troponin I (cTnI), a myofibrillar structural protein, which is a sensitive and specific indicator of myocytic injury. With ethics committee approval, 42 patients were enrolled into a randomized, prospective, double-blinded study. In the GIK group, 500 ml of 50% dextrose solution containing 100 IU insulin and potassium 80 mmol was infused at the rate of 0.75 ml kg-1 h-1. Patients in the non-GIK group received 5% dextrose solution at the same rate. Arterial blood samples were taken before induction of anaesthesia, after removal of the aortic clamp and 6 and 12 h after CPB. Results. In both groups there was an increase in cTnI concentration (P<0.05), which was greatest about 6 h after CPB. At no time did the cTnI concentration differ between the two groups. Conclusion. The results suggest that GIK does not decrease the irreversible myocardial damage associated with routine coronary artery bypass surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-495
Number of pages7
JournalBritish journal of anaesthesia
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Heart, cardiac troponin I
  • Heart, myocyte protection
  • Infusions, glucose-insulin-potassium
  • Surgery, cardiovascular


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