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Ann Pharmacother. 2011 Nov;45(11):1433-8. doi: 10.1345/aph.1Q207. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Clinical usefulness of recombinant activated factor VII in patients with liver failure undergoing invasive procedures.

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Department of Pharmacy Services, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.



To evaluate the use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in patients with liver failure undergoing invasive procedures.


An OVID/MEDLINE and PubMed search (1997-June 2011) was performed to identify literature on the use of rFVIIa to reduce bleeding risk in patients with liver failure undergoing invasive procedures.


English-language data evaluating the efficacy of rFVIIa to reverse coagulopathies prior to invasive procedures in patients with liver disease were included.


Following administration of rFVIIa, prothrombin time (PT) and international normalized ratio (INR) response is within 30 minutes. Doses ranging from 20 to 120 μg/kg have been studied, with a reduction in PT seen in a dose-dependent manner. One study in patients with no bleeding administered 5, 20, and 80 μg/kg sequentially during a 24-day period. All doses provided reversal of prolonged PT within 10 minutes, and the duration was dose-dependent. In a study of 15 patients with fulminant liver failure, requiring intracranial pressure monitor placement, a rFVIIa dose of 40 μg/kg was compared to fresh frozen plasma. In patients who received rFVIIa, the PT and INR normalized, compared to none of the patients in the fresh frozen plasma group.


Retrospective and prospective data demonstrate that rFVIIa effectively reverses elevated PT and INR, reducing the risk of bleeding and safely facilitating invasive procedures. Based on available data, a dose of 20-40 μg/kg 30 minutes prior to an invasive procedure should be considered in patients with acute or chronic liver failure at risk for bleeding complications. A major limitation of rFVIIa use is the high cost of therapy. A prospective, randomized trial could help determine the appropriate dose of rFVIIa, timing of dose in relationship to procedure, and usefulness of subsequent doses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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