The relationship of hepcidin to patient outcomes after cardiac surgery – a sub-study of TRICS IV

The relationship of hepcidin to patient outcomes after cardiac surgery – a sub-study of TRICS IV


CIA: Dr Raymond Hu

Project summary

The aim of this project is to understand the role of hepcidin in relation to patient outcomes after cardiac surgery.  Hepcidin is a key regulator of iron homeostasis. Iron dysregulation has been implicated in the majority of cases of anaemia in the context of cardiac surgery. Nevertheless, determining the various causes of anaemia, particularly prolonged postoperative anaemia (at 30 days postoperatively) and studying its impact on postoperative outcomes has rarely been performed. Small studies have suggested that hepcidin levels may be associated with patient outcomes; however, these studies have not always accounted for the contribution that more complex analysis of iron stores, presence of anaemia or transfusion history may have on patient outcomes.

Performing this sub-study in the context of a major international transfusion trial that is appropriately funded enables a cost-effective opportunity to examine this complex area with the potential to develop insights into novel blood conservation therapies.
The impact of this research on transfusion medicine is significant, as it has the potential to provide new insights into blood conservation strategies. Potential avenues from this research include deriving new methods to avoid pre-operative and post-operative anaemia; and supporting the development of novel therapeutic agents.

Chief investigators

Dr Raymond Hu, Austin Health, Melbourne
Professor David A Scott, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Professor James Isbister, University of Sydney Medical School, NSW
Professor Alistair Royse, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria.


The project was awarded $A70,000 funding in 2023 and second year funding of $50,000 through the ANZCA research grants program for 2023.   

Last updated 12:06 8.12.2022