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Br J Anaesth. 2005 Nov;95(5):596-602. Epub 2005 Sep 23.

Activated recombinant factor VII after cardiopulmonary bypass reduces allogeneic transfusion in complex non-coronary cardiac surgery: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Southampton University Hospitals, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.



Receiving an allogeneic transfusion may be an independent predictor of mortality for patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Furthermore, these patients utilize 15% of all donated blood in the UK. In our unit, 80% of patients undergoing complex non-coronary cardiac surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) receive an allogeneic transfusion. Activated recombinant FVII (rFVIIa) may be effective in reducing this need for transfusion.


Twenty patients undergoing complex cardiac surgery were randomized to receive rFVIIa or placebo after CPB and reversal of heparin.


Two patients in the rFVIIa group received 13 units of allogeneic red cells and coagulation products compared with eight patients receiving 105 units of allogeneic red cells and coagulation products in the placebo group (relative risk of any transfusion 0.26; confidence interval 0.07-0.9; P=0.037). The groups did not differ for adverse events.


Despite major limitations (underpowered study and prone to type I error), we have shown that rFVIIa significantly reduces the need for allogeneic transfusion in complex non-coronary cardiac surgery without causing adverse events.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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