Many patients undergo cardiac surgery with preexisting congenital and acquired coagulation defects. Almost all of these can be recognized and corrected preoperatively. CPB itself induces a variety of abnormalities of coagulation, affecting plasma proteins, platelets, and the fibrinolytic system. These abnormalities do not always cause clinically significant bleeding. When they do, logical laboratory assessment and blood-component usage can usually correct the defect. The use of blood products is associated with allergic, viral, and hemolytic risks. Exciting advances have been made in the use of synthetic alternatives to blood products. Both DDAVP and aprotinin seem promising in this respect, but more investigation is needed into the mechanisms of action and possible thrombotic complications of these drugs. In the future, anesthesiologists and surgeons may look forward to more safe and effective therapy of bleeding in cardiac surgical patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine