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Br J Anaesth. 2010 November; 105(5): 576–582.
Published online 2010 August 17. doi:  10.1093/bja/aeq216
PMCID: PMC2955534

Prothrombin complex concentrate mitigates diffuse bleeding after cardiopulmonary bypass in a porcine model

Abstract

Background

Extracorporeal circuit priming and intravascular volume expansion during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) may lead to dilutional coagulopathy and excessive diffuse postoperative bleeding. Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) containing clotting factors II (FII), VII (FVII), IX (FIX), and X (FX) could be of potential value in correcting dilutional coagulopathy and reducing blood loss.

Methods

Anaesthetized pigs underwent CPB with hypothermia for 2 h at 25°C followed by 1 h of normothermia. Approximately 1 h after CPB, animals randomly received either isotonic saline 1 ml kg−1 or PCC 30 IU kg−1 in a volume of 1 ml kg−1. Diffuse coagulopathic bleeding was assessed as suture hole blood loss from a Gore-Tex patch placed over a full-thickness incision in the left carotid artery.

Results

After CPB, levels of FII, FVII, FIX, and FX declined from baseline by 32% to 48%, and PCC fully or partially reversed those deficits. Median suture hole blood loss after administration of saline placebo was 74 ml. PCC reduced suture hole bleeding by a median of 54 ml with a 95% confidence interval of 6–112 ml (P=0.026) compared with saline. PCC, but not saline, normalized skin bleeding time. Peak thrombin generation markedly decreased after CPB, but then returned in PCC-treated animals to a level higher than baseline by 28.7 nM (14.5–41.1 nM; P=0.031).

Conclusions

PCC was effective in correcting dilutional coagulopathy and reducing diffuse bleeding in an in vivo large-animal CPB model. Further research is warranted on PCC as a haemostatic agent in CPB.

Keywords: blood coagulation disorders, cardiopulmonary bypass, haemodilution, haemorrhage, prothrombin complex concentrates

Articles from BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia are provided here courtesy of Oxford University Press