Objective—To determine the changes in the endocrine mechanisms of fluid balance after cardiopulmonary bypass in children.
Design—Prospective study; analysis of numbered plasma samples performed blind with respect to clinical data.
Setting—Regional paediatric cardiothoracic unit.
Patients—Nine patients, median age 4, range 2 to 9 years, five males. Patients under the age of 1 year were excluded because of the frequent blood sampling involved.
Main outcome measures—Plasma concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), arginine vasopressin, plasma renin activity, aldosterone, noradrenaline and adrenaline, and urinary concentrations of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) as measured by radioimmunoassay.
Results—After 30 minutes of cardiopulmonary bypass plasma atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) decreased from (mean (SEM)) 151 (71) pg/ml to 52 (44) pg/ml (NS), and urinary production of its second messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) decreased from 1286 (600) pmol/ml to 151 (414) pmol (p < 0·05). Other plasma concentrations of hormones studied did not change significantly although arginine vasopressin, adrenaline, and noradrenaline increased whereas aldosterone and plasma renin activity decreased. After cardiopulmonary bypass stopped there was an immediate and significant rise in plasma ANP, but within the next 24 hours plasma ANP declined significantly (p < 0.05), decreasing from 294 (49) pg/ml to 64 (29) pg/ml at 22 hours. In the postoperative period there was a significant correlation between plasma ANP and both mean fluid balance (r = 0·96, p < 0·001) and mean urine output (r = 0·97, p < 0·001). Plasma aldosterone peaked (p < 0·05) at 22 hours after operation, and argine vasopressin peaked (p < 0·05) at two hours and then declined (p < 0·05) to a trough at 24 hours. Plasma renin activity, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and urinary cGMP concentrations, and mean central venous pressure did not change significantly in the postoperative period.
Conclusion—The changes documented show the differing pattern of release of water balance hormones invoked by cardiopulmonary bypass. The central role of ANP is shown by its strong correlation with urinary output and its similarly strong relation to fluid balance.
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