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Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. 2011 Mar;58(3):140-6.

[Transfusion requirements, morbidity and mortality in cardiac surgery and the use of antifibrinolytic agents: a comparison of aprotinin and tranexamic acid].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Anestesiología-Reanimación y Terapéutica del Dolor, Hospital Universitario La Ribera, Alzira, Valencia.



To evaluate transfusion requirements, morbidity and mortality when 2 antifibrinolytic agents (aprotinin and tranexamic acid) were used in patients undergoing cardiac surgery.


Comparison of the effects of 2 antifibrinolytic agents in 243 patients undergoing cardiac surgery between December 2006 and June 2008. We recorded the surgical procedures used, blood product transfusions required, complications (particularly renal), mortality, and length of hospital stay.


The patients were distributed into 2 groups to receive tranexamic acid (n = 144) or aprotinin (n = 99). The incidence of transfusion in the tranexamic acid group (31.94%) was nonsignificantly lower than in the aprotinin group (38.38%) (PF = .31). The mean (SD) number of units of packed red blood cells transfused was 0.67 (1.18) in the tranexamic acid group and 1.01 (1.54) in the aprotinin group (P = .07). The mean preoperative hemoglobin concentration in the tranexamic acid group (11.79 [1.71] mg/dL) was significantly lower than in the aprotinin group (12.35 [1.70] mg/dL) (P < .01). Incipient postoperative renal failure tended to occur more frequently in the aprotinin group (19.6% compared to 16%; P = .47). Mortality at 1 year was 9.02% in the tranexamic acid group (compared to 14.14% in the aprotinin group; PF-.21); the trend for mortality related to postoperative renal failure was similar (7.6% in the tranexamic acid group compared to 12.4% in the aprotinin group; P = .22). No significant differences were observed in postoperative complications or length of hospital stay. However, the lack of randomization and the small sample size do not allow for definitive conclusions.


This study, subject to the aforementioned limitations, shows that tranexamic acid is as effective as aprotinin for reducing transfusion requirements in cardiac surgery in Spain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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