Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and/or aortic valve replacement (AVR) are associated with risk of death, as well as brain, heart and kidney injury. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues are approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes, and GLP-1 analogues have been suggested to have potential organ-protective and anti-inflammatory effects. During cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), consensus on the optimal fraction of oxygen is lacking. The objective of this study is to determine the efficacy of the GLP-1-analogue exenatide versus placebo and restrictive oxygenation (50% fractional inspired oxygen, FiO2) versus liberal oxygenation (100% FiO2) in patients undergoing open heart surgery.
A randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind (for the exenatide intervention)/single blind (for the oxygenation strategy), 2×2 factorial designed single-centre trial on adult patients undergoing elective or subacute CABG and/or surgical AVR. Patients will be randomised in a 1:1 and 1:1 ratio to a 6-hour and 15 min infusion of 17.4 µg of exenatide or placebo during CPB and to a FiO2 of 50% or 100% during and after weaning from CPB. Patients will be followed until 12 months after inclusion of the last participant. The primary composite endpoint consists of time to first event of death, renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy, hospitalisation for stroke or heart failure. In addition, the trial will include predefined sub-studies applying more advanced measures of cardiac- and pulmonary dysfunction, renal dysfunction and cerebral dysfunction. The trial is event driven and aims at 323 primary endpoints with a projected inclusion of 1400 patients.
Eligible patients will provide informed, written consent prior to randomisation. The trial is approved by the local ethics committee and is conducted in accordance with Danish legislation and the Declaration of Helsinki. The results will be presented in peer-reviewed journals.

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