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Anesth Analg. 1997 Dec;85(6):1258-67.

Drugs to minimize perioperative blood loss in cardiac surgery: meta-analyses using perioperative blood transfusion as the outcome. The International Study of Peri-operative Transfusion (ISPOT) Investigators.

Author information

1
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Loeb Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Canada. alaupacis@Lri.ca

Abstract

Concern about the side effects of allogeneic red blood cell transfusion has increased interest in methods of minimizing perioperative transfusion. We performed meta-analyses of randomized trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of aprotinin, desmopressin, tranexamic acid, and epsilon-aminocaproic acid in cardiac surgery. All identified randomized trials in cardiac surgery were included in the meta-analyses. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who received at least one perioperative allogeneic red cell transfusion. Sixty studies were included in the meta-analyses. The largest number of patients (5808) was available for the meta-analysis of aprotinin, which significantly decreased exposure to allogeneic blood (odds ratio [OR] 0.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.39; P < 0.0001). The efficacy of aprotinin was not significantly different regardless of the type of surgery (primary or reoperation), aspirin use, or reported transfusion threshold. The use of aprotinin was associated with a significant decrease in the need for reoperation because of bleeding (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.27-0.73; P = 0.001). Desmopressin was not effective, with an OR of 0.98 (95% CI 0.64-1.50; P = 0.92). Tranexamic acid significantly decreased the proportion of patients transfused (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.34-0.76; P = 0.0009). Epsilon-aminocaproic acid did not have a statistically significant effect on the proportion of patients transfused (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.04-1.12; P = 0.07). There were not enough patients to exclude a small but clinically important increase in myocardial infarction or other side effects for any of the medications. We conclude that aprotinin and tranexamic acid, but not desmopressin, decrease the number of patients exposed to perioperative allogeneic transfusions in association with cardiac surgery.

IMPLICATIONS:

Aprotinin, desmopressin, tranexamic acid, and epsilon-aminocaproic acid are used in cardiac surgery in an attempt to decrease the proportion of patients requiring blood transfusion. This meta-analysis of all published randomized trials provides a good estimate of the efficacy of these medications and is useful in guiding clinical practice. We conclude that aprotinin and tranexamic acid, but not desmopressin, decrease the exposure of patients to allogeneic blood transfusion perioperatively in relationship to cardiac surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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