Background: Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is an extrahepatic protein that is dependent on glutamate carboxylation, a vitamin K-dependent process. Its dysfunctional form, desphospho-uncarboxylated-MGP, has been associated with increased arterial calcification and stiffness. The aim of this study was to measure the degree of postoperative carboxylation of MGP and two other Gla proteins in patients scheduled for abdominal or orthopaedic surgery. Methods: Forty patients undergoing abdominal or orthopaedic surgery were included. Blood samples were collected preoperatively and four days after the surgery. Desphospho-carboxylated MGP (dp-cMGP), desphospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP), carboxylated osteocalcin (OC) (cOC), uncarboxylated OC (ucOC), and uncarboxylated prothrombin (PIVKA-II) were analysed. Results: Preoperatively, 29 patients had dp-ucMGP levels above the reference values. Patients with pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities had higher dp-ucMGP preoperatively compared with patients with no record of cardiovascular disease. Postoperatively, this number increased to 36 patients, and median dp-ucMGP levels increased (p
< 0.0001) and correlated to a PIVKA-II increase (r
= 0.44). On the other hand, dp-cMGP levels did not significantly alter. Decreased levels of ucOC and cOC were seen after surgery (p
= 0.017 and p
= 0.0033, respectively). Comorbidities, possible nutritional defects, and complications affecting Gla protein activity and function were identified. Conclusions. Dp-ucMGP was high preoperatively, and had further increased postoperatively. This pattern was linked to several comorbidities, possible nutritional defects, and postoperative complications, which motivates further research about potential interactions between perioperative corrective treatments with vitamin K supplements, cardiovascular biomarkers, and incidents of stroke and myocardial infarction events.
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