Background: The study evaluated the efficacy of recombinant human antithrombin (rhAT) for restoring heparin responsiveness in heparin resistant patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Methods: This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in heparin-resistant patients undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Heparin resistance was diagnosed when the activated clotting time was less than 480 s after 400 U/kg heparin. Fifty-four heparin-resistant patients were randomized. One cohort received 75 U/kg rhAT, and the other received normal saline. If the activated clotting time remained less than 480 s, this was considered treatment failure, and 2 units fresh frozen plasma was transfused. Patients were monitored for adverse events. Results: Only 19% of patients in the rhAT group received fresh frozen plasma, compared with 81% of patients in the placebo group (P < 0.001). During their hospitalization, 48% of patients in the rhAT group received fresh frozen plasma, compared with 85% of patients in the placebo group (P = 0.009). Patients in the placebo group required higher heparin doses (P < 0.005) for anticoagulation. There was no increase in serious adverse events associated with rhAT. There was increased blood loss 12 h postoperatively (P = 0.05) with a trend toward increased 24-h bleeding in the rhAT group (P = 0.06). There was no difference between the groups in blood and platelet transfusions. Conclusion: Treatment with 75 U/kg rhAT is effective in restoring heparin responsiveness and promoting therapeutic anticoagulation in the majority of heparin-resistant patients. Treating heparin-resistant patients with rhAT may decrease the requirement for heparin and fresh frozen plasma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine