The aim was to examine the effect of perioperative melatonin treatment on clinical cardiac morbidity and markers of myocardial ischemia in patients undergoing elective surgery for abdominal aortic aneurism. Reperfusion injury results in increased cardiac morbidity in patients undergoing surgery for abdominal aortic aneurisms (AAA). A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial including patients undergoing surgery for AAA was performed. The patients received by infusion over a 2-hr period either, 50 mg melatonin or placebo intra-operatively, and 10 mg melatonin or placebo orally, the first three nights after surgery. Postoperative cardiac morbidity was registered, and blood samples for analysis of troponin-I (TpI) were collected preoperatively, and at 5 min, 6, 24, 48, 72, and 96 hr after clamp removal/recirculation of the first leg. Continuous measurement of ST-segment depression was performed by Holter monitoring. A total of 26 patients received melatonin, while 24 received placebo. A significant reduction in cardiac morbidity was seen in the melatonin-treated patients compared with those given placebo [4% versus 29% (P = 0.02)]. Five patients (19%) who received melatonin had increased TpI levels in the postoperative period compared with 12 patients (50%) who were given placebo (P = 0.036). The median number of ST-segment deviations was less in the melatonin-treated patients compared with the placebo group [median 1 (range 0-4) versus 6 (range 0-13) (P = 0.01)], but no differences were found in the duration of ST-segment deviations. Melatonin treatment in the perioperative period decreased clinical cardiac morbidity as well as the occurrence of myocardial ischemia after abdominal aortic aneurism repair.
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