Tight K Trial is Recruiting!
TRIAL UPDATE (10/20): CONGRATULATIONS to the NHS Barts Health research team for recruiting their first patients into the TIGHTK Trial!
The Tight K Trial: Prevention of dysrhythmias on the cardiac intensive care unit – does maintenance of high-normal serum potassium levels matter?
At least one in three patients is affected by atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardiac surgery, with most episodes occurring in the first five postoperative days. AF occurrence is associated with increased morbidity, short and long-term mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) and, hospital stay which increases overall cost of care. Extensive effort is undertaken to prevent AF after cardiac surgery from occurring, but clinical practice in this area is highly variable and the evidence base for most interventions is sparse.
Potassium plays an important role in cardiac electrophysiology. Serum potassium concentrations ([K+]) are commonly low following cardiac surgery, and appear marginally lower in those suffering atrial arrhythmias in non-surgical cohorts. Despite an absence of proof that this association is causal, efforts to maintain serum [K+] in the ‘high-normal’ range (≥ 4.5 mEq/L), as opposed to just intervening if potassium drops below its lower ‘normal’ threshold (<3.6 mEq/L), are considered ‘routine practice’ for AF prevention in post-surgical patients in many centres across the world.
The Tight K trial is a new study investigating how potassium levels should be controlled following Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, commonly known as CABG, surgery.
The study is taking place at London based BartsHealth and St George’s hospitals. The trial is funded by the British Heart Foundation, sponsored by Barts Health NHS Trust and managed by us, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Clinical Trials Unit.
For more information on the Tight K trial head to the official website HERE to learn more.