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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 630835, 15 pages
Review Article

Does Intraoperative Ulinastatin Improve Postoperative Clinical Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Department of Anesthesiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, No. 58 Zhongshan 2nd Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China
2School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 74 Zhongshan 2nd Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China
3Guangzhou Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou 0086-510080, China

Received 1 July 2013; Revised 4 November 2013; Accepted 2 December 2013; Published 9 March 2014

Academic Editor: Sebastian Straube

Copyright © 2014 Qiu-Lan He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. The systematic meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluated the effects of intraoperative ulinastatin on early-postoperative recovery in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Methods. RCTs comparing intraoperative ulinastatin with placebo in cardiac surgery were searched through PubMed, Cochrane databases, Medline, SinoMed, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (1966 to May 20th, 2013). The primary endpoints included hospital mortality, postoperative complication rate, length of stay in intensive care unit, and extubation time. The physiological and biochemical parameters illustrating postoperative cardiac and pulmonary function as well as inflammation response were considered as secondary endpoints. Results. Fifteen RCTs (509 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Ulinastatin did not affect hospital mortality, postoperative complication rate, or ICU length of stay but reduced extubation time. Ulinastatin also increased the oxygenation index on postoperative day 1 and reduced the plasma level of cardiac troponin-I. Additionally, ulinastatin inhibited the increased level of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, polymorphonuclear neutrophil elastase, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8 associated with cardiac surgery. Conclusion. Ulinastatin may be of value for the inhibition of postoperative increased inflammatory agents and most likely provided pulmonary protective effects in cardiac surgery. However, larger adequately powered RCTs are required to define the clinical effect of ulinastatin on postoperative outcomes in cardiac surgery.