Cardiac surgery (CS) with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) induces systemic inflammatory response by activating plasma proteins and blood cells. Activated monocytes/macrophages produce inflammatory marker neopterin (NP). The aim was to explore the NP kinetics in first 24 hours after CS according to the CPB use. Significant difference between groups was found for NP levels 12 and 24 hrs after CS, being higher in on-pump group. Strong association was found between NP levels 12 hrs after CS and the length of ICU stay for on-pump group (r=0.744, p<0.001). Strong association was found between preoperative NP levels and the length of ICU stay for those on-pump patients with elevated preoperative NP (r=0.855, p=0.001; linear regression equation y=0.50x-5.14, p<0.001). Preoperative NP levels higher than 10 nmol/L in on-pump group could predict prolonged ICU stay and outpoint patients at higher risk for developing postoperative complications and, therefore, help to determine the necessary therapeutic interventions.