Altered lipid metabolism has been shown to be of major importance in a range of metabolic diseases, with particular importance in cardiovascular disease (CVD). As a key metabolic product, altered lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) levels may be associated with adverse clinical outcomes in high-risk cardiovascular patients undergoing cardiac surgery. We aimed to investigate the impact of the important metabolite Lp(a) on complications and clinical outcomes in high-risk patients. A prospective observational cohort study was performed. Data were derived from the Bern Perioperative Biobank (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04767685), and included 192 adult patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery. Blood samples were collected at 24 h preoperatively, before induction of general anaesthesia, upon weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), and the first morning after surgery. Clinical endpoints included stroke, myocardial infarction, and mortality within 30 days after surgery or within 1 year. Patients were grouped according to their preoperative Lp(a) levels: <30 mg/dL (n
= 121; 63%) or >30 mg/dL (n =
71, 37%). The groups with increased vs. normal Lp(a) levels were comparable with regard to preoperative demographics and comorbidities. Median age was 67 years (interquartile range (IQR) 60.0, 73.0), with median body mass index (BMI) of 23.1 kg/m2
(23.7, 30.4), and the majority of patients being males (75.5%). Over the observational interval, Lp(a) levels decreased in all types of cardiac surgery after CPB (mean decline of approximately −5 mg/dL). While Lp(a) levels decreased in all patients following CPB, this observation was considerably pronounced in patients undergoing deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) (decrease to preoperative Lp(a) levels by −35% (95% CI −68, −1.7), p
= 0.039). Increased Lp(a) levels were neither associated with increased rates of perioperative stroke or major adverse events in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, nor with overall mortality in the perioperative period, or at one year after surgery. Other than for cohorts in neurology and cardiology, elevated Lp(a) might not be a risk factor for perioperative events in cardiac surgery.
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