OBJECTIVES: Sildenafil has strong cardiac preconditioning properties in animal studies and has a safe side-effect profile in children. Therefore, we evaluated the application of Sildenafil preconditioning to reduce myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury in children undergoing surgical ventricular septal defect (VSD) closure.
METHODS: This is a randomized, double-blind study. Children (1-17 years) undergoing VSD closure were randomized into three groups: placebo (Control group), preconditioning with 0.06 mg/kg (Sild-L group) and 0.6 mg/kg Sildenafil (Sild-H group). Primary endpoint: troponin release. CK-MB, Troponin I, inflammatory response (IL-6 and TNF-α), bypass and ventilation weaning times, inotropy score and echocardiographic function were assessed. Data expressed as median (range), and a value of P <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients were studied (13/group). Aortic cross-clamp time was similar [27 (18-85) and 27 (12-39) min] in the Control and Sild-L groups, respectively, but significantly longer [39 (20-96) min] in the Sild-H group when compared with the Control group. Area under the curve of CK-MB release was 1105 (620-1855) h ng/ml in the Control group, 1672 (564-2767) h ng/ml in the SildL group and was significantly higher in the Sild-H group [1695 (1252-3377) h ng/ml] when compared with the Control group. There were no significant differences in inflammatory response markers, cardiopulmonary bypass and ventilation weaning times, inotropy scores and echocardiographic function between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: In this small study, Sildenafil failed to reduce myocardial injury in children undergoing cardiac surgery, nor does it alter cardiac function, inotropic needs or postoperative course. A subclinical increase in cardiac enzyme release after Sildenafil preconditioning cannot be excluded.
- congenital heart disease
- cardiac surgery