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Salvage use of activated recombinant factor VII in the management of refractory bleeding following cardiac surgery

Authors Barua A, Rao, Ramesh, Barua B, El-Shafei

Published 19 September 2011 Volume 2011:2 Pages 131—134


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Anupama Barua1, Vinay P Rao1, BC Ramesh2, Biplab Barua3, Hussain El-Shafei2
1Cardiothoracic Department, Nottingham City Hospital, Nottingham, UK; 2Cardiothoracic Department, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, UK; 3General Surgery Department, Glenfield Hospital, Glenfield, Leicester, UK

Background: Refractory post cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) bleeding continues to cause concern for cardiac surgeons and intensivists. Massive postoperative hemorrhage following CPB is multifactorial and not fully understood, and it is also associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Activated recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) has emerged as possible salvage medication in refractory post cardiac surgical bleeding. This observational study sought to identify the pattern of use of rFVIIa in cardiac surgery, its effectiveness, and risk.
Methods: This study involved a retrospective case review of medical records of ten patients undergoing a variety of cardiac surgery procedures and who developed life-threatening bleeding during surgery or after surgery despite conventional medical therapy, including transfusion of blood and blood products, and received rFVIIa at a regional center between August 2007 and April 2009.
Results: All ten patients received two consecutive doses of rFVIIa (average dose 65 µg/kg) at a 2-hour interval. Eight patients were re-explored due to massive postoperative bleeding or cardiac tamponade before receiving rFVIIa. Surgical sources of bleeding were not identified in any cases. A second re-exploration was carried out in two cases. Two patients (20%) died in ITU from problems not related to bleeding and thromboembolism. Blood loss was significantly reduced after administration of rFVIIa. Blood loss 6 hours prior to treatment was 1758.5 ± 163.9 mL and blood loss in the 6-hour period post treatment was 405.6 ± 50.5 mL (P < 0.05). Blood and blood products used in the 6-hour period before and after administration of rFVIIa were 19.6 ± 1.5U and 4.4 ± 0.6U, respectively (P < 0.05). No adverse reactions or thrombotic complications related to rFVIIa were noted.
Conclusion: In our limited study, use of rFVIIa in refractory post surgical bleeding was significantly reduced blood loss and use of blood and blood products. We concluded that rFVIIa can be used satisfactorily and safely as a rescue therapy in the management of post cardiac surgical bleeding.

Keywords: cardiopulmonary bypass, CPB, refractory bleeding, rFVIIa

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