Preventing stroke and heart failure following heart surgery

Posted 7 Dec 2020

Flinders Medical Centre doctors will investigate whether prescribing a medication to patients for the four weeks prior to major heart surgery could prevent stroke, heart failure and death post-surgery.

Cardiologist Associate Professor Anand Ganesan and his team have been awarded a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to determine if a class of drugs called ‘SLGT2 inhibitors’ will improve electric remodelling of the heart prior to surgery, to decrease the risk of atrial fibrillation following surgery.

“Postoperative atrial fibrillation is a chaotic and disorganised heart rhythm disorder, and a major clinical problem that complicates the postoperative period in 15-30 per cent of patients undergoing cardiac surgery,” A/Prof Ganesan explains.

“Current data suggests it’s associated with a range of adverse outcomes including increasing the rate of stroke, a substantial increase in mortality, increases in length of stay in hospital, and also a driver of increased health care costs.”

A small group of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery and valvular heart surgery at Flinders Medical Centre will be involved in the study. They will receive the SGLT2 inhibitor drugs for four weeks prior to their surgery and then be monitored to see if there is a decreased incidence of atrial fibrillation among the group.

Research category: Heart

Project title: SGLT2 inhibition before cardiac surgery - a mechanistic randomised trial

Lead researcher: Associate Professor Anand Ganesan


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