Genomic predictors of mortality following heart surgery

Unmet Need

Several models have been developed to estimate the risk of mortality following cardiac surgery, including the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE), but they all are limited in their ability to predict death for specific individuals. It has been proposed that individual gene polymorphisms can improve the discriminatory ability of EuroSCORE with respect to mortality following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. A specific risk estimation method based on individual genetic polymorphisms of risk estimation that is customized to a patient would be of great value.


Duke researchers have identified specific genetic variants that are associated with an increased risk of mortality following the CABG surgery. They have shown that polymorphisms in apolipoprotein E (APOE) and thrombomodulin (THBD) are independent indicators of altered postoperative mortality and developed a method of pre-operative DNA testing for these variants that identifies individuals at risk.


  • Effectively warns patient about their increased postoperative mortality risk
  • Knowledge of their genetic variants allows patients to choose alternative therapy
  • These genes may represent new targets for therapies aimed at reducing mortality after CABG surgery
Physician pointing at heart disease

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Mathew, Joseph
  • Lobato, Robert
  • Newman, Mark
  • Podgoreanu, Mihai
  • Stafford-Smith, Mark
  • White, William


    • Patent Number: 8,105,781
    • Title: Predictors of Long-Term Mortality Following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery
    • Country: United States of America

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School of Medicine (SOM)