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Clin Ther. 2009 Jan;31(1):32-41. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2009.01.005.

A review of three stand-alone topical thrombins for surgical hemostasis.

Author information

1
School of Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. chengc@pharmcay.ucsf.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Topical thrombins are active hemostatic agents that can be used to minimize blood loss during surgery. Before 2007, the only topical thrombins available were derived from bovine plasma. Antibody formation to bovine thrombin and/or factor V, with subsequent risk of cross-reactivity with human factor V, and hemorrhagic complications associated with human factor-V deficiencies have been described in case reports of surgeries in which bovine thrombins were used. This risk is now included in the boxed warning section of the bovine thrombin prescribing information. In 2007 and 2008, 2 new topical thrombins from nonbovine sources received approval for use from the US Food and Drug Administration. The 3 active topical thrombins that are currently marketed are bovine plasma-derived thrombin, human plasma-derived thrombin, and human recombinant thrombin.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this review was to evaluate the literature on the efficacy and safety of topical thrombins and discuss the pharmacoeconomic considerations associated with their use.

METHODS:

PubMed, EMBASE, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts were searched for relevant papers published in English through October 10,2008, using the terms thrombin, human recombinant thrombin, bovine thrombin, plasma derived thrombin, and topical thrombin. Manufacturer-provided materials were also reviewed. Abstracts and unpublished data, as well as evaluations of sealants, adhesives, glues, and other hemostats that contain thrombin mixed with fibrinogen and other clotting factors, were excluded.

RESULTS:

Four randomized, double-blind studies involving the active, stand-alone topical thrombins were found. The bovine thrombin involved in these studies was the predecessor to the currently marketed, highly purified bovine formulation. No studies comparing the human products, studies involving the highly purified bovine preparation, or placebo-controlled studies involving bovine thrombin were found. In a Phase III comparison of human recombinant thrombin and bovine thrombin, the percentages of patients who achieved hemostasis within 10 minutes of topical thrombin application were 95.4% and 95.1%, respectively (95% CI, -3.7 to 5.0). The incidence of hemostasis within 10 minutes was also similar in a Phase III comparison of human plasma-derived thrombin and bovine thrombin (both, 97.4% [95% CI, 0.96 to 1.05]). In the study that compared human recombinant and bovine thrombin, the incidence of antiproduct antibody formation was 21.5% (43/200) in the bovine thrombin group and 1.5% (3/198) in the human recombinant thrombin group (P < 0.001); patients with antibodies to bovine thrombin had numerically higher incidences of bleeding or thromboembolic events than did patients without these antibodies (19% vs 13%; P value not reported). Human plasma-derived thrombin is available as a frozen sterile solution that must be thawed before application, whereas the human recombinant and bovine plasma-derived products are supplied as unrefrigerated sterile powders that must be reconstituted before use. The human thrombins are more costly than bovine thrombin on a per-vial basis. The average wholesale prices (US $, 2008) for 5000-IU vials of bovine thrombin and human recombinant thrombin were $87.85 and $103.20, respectively; the average wholesale price for a 4000- to 6000-IU vial of human plasma-derived thrombin was $96.00.

CONCLUSIONS:

Topical thrombins vary in the ways in which they are manufactured and their safety profiles, storage requirements, and costs. Human recombinant thrombin and human plasma-derived thrombin have each been shown to have hemostatic efficacy comparable to that of bovine thrombin. Bovine thrombin carries the risk of formation of cross-reactive antibodies to bovine thrombin, factor V, and other impurities that may be present in these formulations. Immunogenicity data for the currently marketed, highly purified bovine thrombin relative to older formulations of bovine thrombin could not be found. Whether the potential safety advantage justifies the added cost of the human products remains to be established.

PMID:
19243705
DOI:
10.1016/j.clinthera.2009.01.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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