Uncovering the links between stress hormones and inflammatory mediators during and after cardiac surgery

 

Lead Academic Co-Investigators Centre Fellow(s) Artist in ResidenceProject title 
Ben Gibbison

Eder Zavala (CSMQB)

Jamie Walker (CEMPS)

Stafford Lightman (BRISTOL)

Gianni Angelini (BRISTOL)

Danny Galvis Pietro Bardini Uncovering the links between stress hormones and inflammatory mediators during and after cardiac surgery

 

Lay summary:

35,000 people a year have heart surgery in the UK. Two-thirds of people make a straightforward recovery and go home quickly. About 1 in 4 people stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) longer than usual. The major cause of this is inflammation - similar to the inflammation that occurs after a sprained ankle. Instead of occurring in a small area, as in a sprained ankle – it occurs across the whole body. Uncontrolled inflammation can lead to failure of the body’s organs. One of the things that protects the body from excessive inflammation is the steroid hormone cortisol, which increases after heart surgery. Doctors sometimes give steroids to patients who are on ICU to prevent severe inflammation. Because we do not know how cortisol is controlled, we cannot produce tests to work out who may need steroids or design the best therapies to reduce inflammation.

We want to model the interactions between inflammation and cortisol. Using data from heart surgery patients, we will then use the model to predict the dynamics of inflammatory responses and look at the differences between people who recover quickly after heart surgery and those who do not. In the future, these models would be useful to inform whether giving steroids at different times and doses could reduce recovery times from surgery.

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