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The World in Medicine
October 10, 2001

Presurgical Immunity Boost

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JAMA. 2001;286(14):1704. doi:10.1001/jama.286.14.1704-JWM10010-4-1

Cardiac surgery is riskier for elderly patients and those with poor ventricular function, but giving such patients an immune-enhancing nutritional supplement could improve outcome, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Lancet. 2001;358:696-701).

In the prospective, randomized controlled trial, 50 patients were given a placebo or an oral immune-enhancing supplement containing L-arginine, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and yeast RNA for at least 5 days. Patients were aged 70 years or older, had a left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 0.44, or were scheduled to undergo mitral valve replacement.