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Pediatr Transplant. 2005 Jun;9(3):299-304.

Single pretransplant bolus of recombinant activated factor VII ameliorates influence of risk factors for blood loss during orthotopic liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery and Organ Transplantation, Children's Memorial Health Institute, Warsaw, Poland.


Large blood loss and transfusions during liver transplantation (LTx) may lead to serious complications and have a negative impact on post-transplant mortality and morbidity. In the retrospective study we compared two groups of recipients of primary cadaveric liver transplantation: group I (study group), consisted of 28 patients with preoperative risk of high intraoperative blood loss, including severe uncorrected coagulopathy. This group was given a bolus of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) just before LTx. Group II (control group) included 61 patients without a particular risk for increased intraoperative blood loss. These patients were not given rFVIIa. We analyzed both groups for: coagulation parameters before, during and after surgery (INR, APTT, factor VII activity), blood and FFP transfusions, operative time, postoperative complications (vascular thrombosis, reoperation for bleeding), postoperative ICU stay, post-transplant hospitalization time and mortality. Patients from the study group (I) had significantly worse coagulation parameters than patients in the control group (II) at the start of the surgical procedure; however, after administration of a bolus of rFVIIa there was immediate correction of coagulation in all recipients. No significant differences in intraoperative blood transfusions were observed between study and control groups (1980 +/- 311.4 mL vs. 1527 +/- 154.2 mL, respectively), operating time (8.7 h vs. 8.9 h) or ICU and hospital stay (7.03 days vs. 6.15 days and 40.89 days vs. 41.1 days). Re-exploration because of bleeding was performed in three patients from group I (10.7%) and in seven patients (11.5%) from group II. No single case of vascular thrombosis was observed in the study group, while in the control group there were three hepatic artery thromboses, two portal vein thromboses and one hepatic vein thrombosis. We conclude that rFVIIa given preoperatively to liver transplant recipients with several risk factors for high intraoperative bleeding adjusts these patients to a normal risk group, without an increased risk for thrombotic complications.

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