Asger Krog Mølgaard

MD, PhD-student, Research Centre of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Department of Anaesthesia, Næstved, Slagelse and Ringsted Hospitals

POST-OP Trial: Post-Operative STress in Orthopedic Patients

Surgery is stressful! Not only psychological, but on total organ function, where the immune-system is the most challenged. This stress, is commonly known as the Surgical Stress Response (SSR). In recent years, studies have found a correlation between the SSR elicited by various surgeries and clinical recovery. As glucocorticoids (GCC) has been shown to lower postoperative pain and opioid-need, it is hypothesized that peri-operative immune-modulation impacts clinical recovery.

The DEX-2-TKA Trial found that two doses of dexamethasone (a potent GCC) alleviated postoperative pain and opioid-need after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). A subset of patients donated blood samples for a biobank for future research and the POST-OP Trial is the analyses of these samples.

We aimed to characterise the SSR induced by TKA, the impact of GCC treatment and perform exploratory correlations to clinical observations such as pain and opioid-use. The latter hopefully identifying potential biomarkers for future studies on prognostic factors for clinical recovery after TKA.

Samples were collected before surgery and on the first postoperative morning and analyses were performed with the Nanostring nCounter Human Immunology V2 Panel and Olink Explore 384 Inflammation panel. As of August 2023 results are pending.

This session will focus on how we – without prior experience with NGS-techniques – approached a study, where we hope that NGS may yield both a physiological knowledge and be hypothesis-generating for biomarkers of clinical recovery. If possible, results will be presented partly.