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Thromb Haemost. 2003 Oct;90(4):642-53.

Drotrecogin alfa (activated) (recombinant human activated protein C) reduces host coagulopathy response in patients with severe sepsis.

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Service de Reanimation Medicale, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire Cochin Port-Royal, AP-HP, Paris V University, Paris, France.


Drotrecogin alfa (activated) improved survival in patients with severe sepsis in PROWESS, a double-blind, study of 1690 adult patients randomized to drotrecogin alfa (activated) at 24 microg/kg/h (N=850) or placebo (N=840) infused for 96 hours. Pharmacodynamic effects of drotrecogin alfa (activated) were assessed with 15 prospectively defined systemic biomarkers of hemostasis, inflammation and endothelial injury. The last-observation-carried-forward (LOCF) method of imputation for missing observations was the prospectively defined statistical method. The results were also analyzed with only the observed values without imputation for missing data (repeated measures analysis). With both statistical methods, drotrecogin alfa (activated)-treated patients demonstrated antithrombotic (reduced markers of thrombin generation and accelerated normalization of anticoagulant factor, protein C and fibrinolytic factors) and anticoagulant (prolonged PT and APTT) effects compared with placebo. A profibrinolytic (reduction in plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) effect was significant only with the LOCF imputation method in observed case and percent change from baseline analyses. An anti-inflammatory (reduction in interleukin-6) effect was significant only with the LOCF imputation method in change from baseline and percent change from baseline analyses. Drotrecogin alfa (activated) is a new and promising agent for treatment of patients with severe sepsis. The extensive analysis of systemic biomarkers confirms the previously published antithrombotic effects. However, the present results using different statistical methods do not provide a strong basis for systemic anti-inflammatory or pro-fibrinolytic effects. These latter two effects may occur at the local or cellular level. The systemic biomarkers reported here might not be the most appropriate approach to demonstrate these potential effects of drotrecogin alfa (activated).

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