© 2015 Authors. Monitoring the bioenergetics of leucocytes is now emerging as an important approach in translational research to detect mitochondrial dysfunction in blood or other patient samples. Using the mitochondrial stress test, which involves the sequential addition of mitochondrial inhibitors to adherent leucocytes, we have calculated a single value, the Bioenergetic Health Index (BHI), which represents the mitochondrial function in cells isolated from patients. In the present report, we assess the BHI of monocytes isolated from the post-operative blood and post-operative pericardial fluid (PO-PCF) from patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Analysis of the bioenergetics of monocytes isolated from patients' PO-PCF revealed a profound decrease in mitochondrial function compared with monocytes isolated from their blood or from healthy controls. Further, patient blood monocytes showed no significant difference in the individual energetic parameters from the mitochondrial stress test but, when integrated into the BHI evaluation, there was a significant decrease in BHI compared with healthy control monocytes. These data support the utility of BHI measurements in integrating the individual parameters from the mitochondrial stress test into a single value. Supporting our previous finding that the PO-PCF is pro-oxidant, we found that exposure of rat cardiomyocytes to PO-PCF caused a significant loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS). These findings support the hypothesis that integrated measures of bioenergetic health could have prognostic and diagnostic value in translational bioenergetics.