Topical thrombin preparations and their use in cardiac surgery
Brianne L Dunn1, Walter E Uber1, John S Ikonomidis2
1Department of Pharmacy Services and 2Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Abstract: Coagulopathic bleeding may lead to increased morbidity and mortality after cardiac surgery. Topical bovine thrombin has been used to promote hemostasis after surgical procedures for over 60 years and is used frequently as a topical hemostatic agent in cardiac surgery. Recently, use of bovine thrombin has been reported to be associated with increased risk for anaphylaxis, thrombosis, and immune-mediated coagulopathy thought secondary to the production of antifactor V and antithrombin antibodies. In patients who develop bovine thrombin-induced immune-mediated coagulopathy, clinical manifestations may range from asymptomatic alterations in coagulation tests to severe hemorrhage and death. Patients undergoing cardiac surgical procedures may be at increased risk for development of antibodies to bovine thrombin products and associated complications. This adverse immunologic profile has led to the development of alternative preparations including a human and a recombinant thrombin which have been shown to be equally efficacious to bovine thrombin and have reduced antigenicity. However, the potential benefit associated with reduced antigenicity is not truly known secondary to the lack of long-term experience with these products. Given the potentially higher margin of safety and less stringent storage concerns compared to human thrombin, recombinant thrombin may be the most reasonable approach in cardiac surgery.
Keywords: bovine thrombin, human thrombin, recombinant thrombin, immune-mediated coagulopathy, topical hemostatic agents, thrombin
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