Risk of stroke during heart surgery. How to predict? 5
Stroke is a risk factor in cardiac surgery. You have published important research. It found that higher than usual white blood cell [WBC] count, the leukocyte count, before the heart surgery might signify increased risk of stroke after surgery. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Stroke after cardiac surgery is a very devastating complication. Stroke is a very feared complication. Through advanced use of surgical techniques, the risk of stroke decreased. Dr. Jürgen Ennker, MD. There is off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting. As you mentioned, you decrease the risk of stroke significantly. But predicting patients who are at increased risk of stroke is very important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Please tell us more about your work. How can you predict the risk of stroke in patients? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Can stroke risk be predicted by white blood cell count numbers? Yes, again, you have patient-related factors. White cell count is one of them. You may have increase of the white cell count. You have altered hemostasis and the blood flow is different. This is one of the risk factors that may lead to increased risk of cerebral stroke. We are measuring the white blood cell count and we can prepare adequate precautions to diminish the risk of stroke. Dr. Jürgen Ennker, MD. We aim to have a better patient outcome. Is there a particular WBC leucocyte count range when you start to get concerned? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Does it depend on what is the patient’s white blood cell count at a baseline? How do you assess that? If you have a strong increase in the white cell count, we have to dilute the blood. Dr. Jürgen Ennker, MD. We have to look for other risk factors. We have to prepare the patient even more than usual.
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