Marketa Dolnik, MD

Critical Care, Santa Clara

Marketa Dolnik, MD is recognized for her outstanding work as reported in the article “Hetastarch increases the risk of bleeding complications in patients after off-pump coronary bypass surgery: A randomized clinical trial,” published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (September 2009).

Dr. Dolnik served as the lead investigator on a study that was designed to help resolve an active debate about whether the intraoperative use of hetastarch for volume replacement in coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery increases the risk of postoperative bleeding, a major concern in bypass surgery.

Prior studies, conducted elsewhere, had already determined that hetastarch use in patients undergoing on-pump CABG is associated with an increased risk of postoperative bleeding. Dr. Dolnik’s study took the next step in resolving the hetastarch debate by looking at its use during off-pump coronary artery bypass (OPCAB) procedures.

She and her team designed a double-blinded randomized clinical trial to investigate the question. Study findings were strong and definitive — the intraoperative administration of hetastarch does indeed carry an increased risk of postoperative bleeding after OPCAB.

Her study significantly adds to the body of knowledge about hetastarch use during bypass surgery and raises serious questions about the advisability of its use as the default volume expander in CABG surgery.