The Association Between Angiotensin II and Renin Kinetics in Patients After Cardiac Surgery

Melanie Meersch, Raphael Weiss, Christina Massoth, Mira Küllmar, Khaschayar Saadat-Gilani, Manuel Busen, Lakhmir Chawla, Giovanni Landoni, Rinaldo Bellomo, Joachim Gerss, Alexander Zarbock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Hyperreninemia after cardiac surgery is associated with cardiovascular instability. Angiotensin II (AT-II) could potentially attenuate hyperreninemia while maintaining target blood pressure. This study assesses the association between AT-II usage and renin levels in cardiac surgery patients with postoperative hyperreninemia and vasoplegia. METHODS: Between September 2020 and March 2021, we retrospectively identified 40 cardiac surgery patients with high Δ-renin levels (4 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass [CPB] minus preoperative levels) (defined as higher than 3.7 µU/mL) and vasopressor use who received a vasopressor therapy with either AT-II or continued norepinephrine alone. The primary outcome was the renin plasma level at 12 hours after surgery, adjusted by the renin plasma level at 4 hours after surgery. RESULTS: Overall, the median renin plasma concentration increased from a baseline with median of 44.3 µU/mL (Q1-Q3, 14.6-155.5) to 188.6 µU/mL (Q1-Q3, 29.8-379.0) 4 hours after CPB. High Δ-renin (difference between postoperation and preoperation) patients (higher than 3.7 µU/mL) were then treated with norepinephrine alone (median dose of 3.25 mg [Q1-Q3, 1.00-4.75]) or with additional AT-II (norepinephrine dose: 1.33 mg [Q1-Q3, 0.78-2.04]; AT-II dose: 0.34 mg [Q1-Q3, 0.29-0.78]). At 12 hours after surgery, AT-II patients had lower renin levels than standard of care patients (71.7 µU/mL [Q1-Q3, 21.9-211.4] vs 130.6 µU/mL [Q1-Q3, 62.9-317.0]; P = .034 adjusting for the renin plasma level at 4 hours after surgery). CONCLUSIONS: In cardiac surgery patients with hypotonia and postoperative high Δ-renin levels, AT-II was associated with reduced renin plasma levels for at 12 hours and significantly decreased norepinephrine use, while norepinephrine alone was associated with increased renin levels. Further studies of AT-II in cardiac surgery appear justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1009
Number of pages8
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Cite this