Characteristics of Interleukin-6 Signaling in Elective Cardiac Surgery—A Prospective Cohort Study

Jürgen Puchinger, Sylvia Ryz, Larissa Nixdorf, Maximilian Edlinger-Stanger, Andrea Lassnigg, Dominik Wiedemann, Michael Hiesmayr, Andreas Spittler, Martin H. Bernardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

7 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) can cause pro-and anti-inflammatory effects via different signaling path-ways. This prospective study investigated the perioperative kinetics of IL-6, soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R), and soluble glycoprotein 130 (sgp130) in elective patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). IL-6, sIL-6R, and sgp130 were measured simultaneously and consecutively at 19 timepoints until the 10th postoperative day (POD). The proportion of pro-and anti-inflammatory pathways were determined by calculating sIL-6R/IL-6 and sIL-6R/sgp130 ratios. We analyzed 93 patients. IL-6 increased during surgery with reaching a plateau two hours after CPB and peaking on POD 1 (188.5 pg mL−1 (IQR, 126.6; 309.2)). sIL-6R decreased at the beginning of the surgical procedure, reaching a nadir level on POD 2 (26,311 pg mL−1 (IQR, 22,222; 33,606)). sgp130 dropped immediately after CPB initiation (0.13 ng mL−1 (IQR, 0.12; 0.15)), followed by a continuous recovery until POD10. The sIL-6R/IL-6 ratio decreased substantially at the beginning of the procedure, reaching a nadir on POD 1 (149.7 (IQR, 82.4; 237.4)), while the sIL-6R/sgp130 ratio increased simultaneously until 6 h post CPB (0.219 (IQR 0.18; 0.27)). In conclusion, IL-6 exhibited high inter-individual variability reflecting an inhomogeneous inflammatory response. Pro-inflammatory effects and overwhelming inflammation were rare and predominantly anti-inflammatory effects were found.

Original languageEnglish
Article number590
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2022


  • Cardiac surgical procedures
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Cytokine receptor gp130
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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