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Anesthesiology. 2003 Feb;98(2):337-42.

Antifibrinolytic therapy and perioperative blood loss in cancer patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.



Aprotinin has been reported to reduce blood loss and transfusion requirements in patients having major orthopedic operations. Data on whether epsilon amino-caproic acid (EACA) is effective in this population are sparse.


Sixty-nine adults with malignancy scheduled for either pelvic, extremity or spine surgery during general anesthesia entered this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, and received either intravenous aprotinin (n = 23), bolus of 2 x 10(6) kallikrein inactivator units (KIU), followed by an infusion of 5 x 10(5) KIU/h, or EACA (n = 22), bolus of 150 mg/kg, followed by a 15 mg/kg/h infusion or saline placebo (n = 24) during surgery. Our goal was to determine whether prophylactic EACA or aprotinin therapy would reduce perioperative blood loss (intraoperative + first 48h) >30% when compared to placebo.


The mean age of the study population was 52 +/- 17 yr. The groups did not differ in age, duration of surgery, perioperative blood loss or number of packed erythrocyte units transfused. When compared to the placebo group, the two treated groups had a significantly lower D-Dimer level immediately after surgery, P < 0.01.


Under the conditions of this study, we were unable to find a clinical benefit to using aprotinin or EACA to reduce perioperative blood loss or transfusion requirements during major orthopedic surgery in cancer patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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