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Lancet. 1999 Dec 4;354(9194):1940-7.

Pharmacological strategies to decrease excessive blood loss in cardiac surgery: a meta-analysis of clinically relevant endpoints.

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  • 1Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. m.m.levi@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Excessive bleeding may complicate cardiac surgery, and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Pharmacological strategies to decrease perioperative bleeding have been investigated in a large number of controlled trials, most of which have shown a decrease in blood loss. However, most studies lacked sufficient power to detect a beneficial effect on clinically more relevant outcomes. We did a meta-analysis of all randomised, controlled trials of the three most frequently used pharmacological strategies to decrease perioperative blood loss (aprotinin, lysine analogues [aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid], and desmopressin).

METHODS:

Studies were included if they reported at least one clinically relevant outcome (mortality, rethoracotomy, proportion of patients receiving a transfusion, or perioperative myocardial infarction) in addition to perioperative blood loss. In addition, a separate meta-analysis was done for studies concerning complicated cardiac surgery.

FINDINGS:

We identified 72 trials (8409 patients) that met the inclusion criteria. Treatment with aprotinin decreased mortality almost two-fold (odds ratio 0.55 [95% CI 0.34-0.90]) compared with placebo. Treatment with aprotinin and with lysine analogues decreased the frequency of surgical re-exploration (0.37 [0.25-0.55], and 0.44 [0.22-0.90], respectively). These two treatments also significantly decreased the proportion of patients receiving any allogeneic blood transfusion. By contrast, the use of desmopressin resulted in a small decrease in perioperative blood loss, but was not associated with a beneficial effect on other clinical outcomes. Aprotinin and lysine analogues did not increase the risk of perioperative myocardial infarction; however, desmopressin was associated with a 2.4-fold increase in the risk of this complication. Studies in patients undergoing complicated cardiac surgery showed similar results.

INTERPRETATION:

Pharmacological strategies that decrease perioperative blood loss in cardiac surgery, in particular aprotinin and lysine analogues, also decrease mortality, the need for rethoracotomy, and the proportion of patients receiving a blood transfusion.

PMID:
10622296
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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