Real-time monitoring of endogenous lipid peroxidation by exhaled ethylene in patients undergoing cardiac surgery

Simona M. Cristescu, Rudolf Kiss, Sacco te Lintel Hekkert, Miles Dalby, Frans J.M. Harren, Terence H. Risby, Nandor Marczin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Pulmonary and systemic organ injury produced by oxidative stress including lipid peroxidation is a fundamental tenet of ischemia-reperfusion injury, inflammatory response to cardiac surgery, and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) but is not routinely measured in a surgically relevant time frame. To initiate a paradigm shift toward noninvasive and real-time monitoring of endogenous lipid peroxidation, we have explored pulmonary excretion and dynamism of exhaled breath ethylene during cardiac surgery to test the hypothesis that surgical technique and ischemia-reperfusion triggers lipid peroxidation. We have employed laser photoacoustic spectroscopy to measure real-time trace concentrations of ethylene from the patient breath and from the CPB machine. Patients undergoing aortic or mitral valve surgery-requiring CPB (n = 15) or off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery (OPCAB) (n = 7) were studied. Skin and tissue incision by diathermy caused striking (>30-fold) increases in exhaled ethylene resulting in elevated levels until CPB. Gaseous ethylene in the CPB circuit was raised upon the establishment of CPB (> 10-fold) and decreased over time. Rep-erfusion of myocardium and lungs did not appear to enhance ethylene levels significantly. During OPCAB surgery, we have observed increased ethylene in 16 of 30 documented reperfusion events associated with coronary and aortic anastomoses. Therefore, novel real-time monitoring of endogenous lipid peroxidation in the intraoperative setting provides unparalleled detail of endogenous and surgery-triggered production of ethylene. Diathermy and unprotected regional myocardial ischemia and reperfusion are the most significant contributors to increased ethylene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L509-L515
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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