Coagulopathy can occur after hemorrhage, trauma and resuscitation, and has been associated with dilution of coagulation factors and hypothermia. Recombinant activated Factor VII (rFVIIa) has been used, often as a last resort, to improve hemostasis in trauma/hemorrhage patients with coagulopathy. The aim of this study was to further characterize the effects of rFVIIa on various coagulation parameters and the influence of temperature and hemodilution.
Whole blood from healthy human volunteers was incubated in a combination of three conditions: undiluted or diluted 40% with either lactated Ringer’s solution or Hextend, at 37°C or 34°C, and with and without rFVIIa (1.26 μg/ml, final concentration). Blood or plasma, as appropriate, was measured for coagulation by thrombin generation, thromboelastography (TEG), prothrombin Time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin (aPTT).
Incubation of plasma at 34°C significantly elevated thrombin generation, and prolonged PT and aPTT. Dilution of blood or plasma with 40% Hextend, but not lactated Ringer’s, had a significant effect on TEG parameters, and prolonged PT and aPTT. In control conditions (37°C, 0 dilution), the addition of rFVIIa to human plasma or whole blood led to a significant change in all TEG parameters, and Lagtime for thrombin generation, but not to PT or aPTT.
Theses data show that thrombin generation is affected by hypothermia, but not 40% dilution. TEG is affected by 40% dilution with Hextend, but not by hypothermia. PT and aPTT are significantly affected by both hypothermia and dilution. Recombinant FVIIa caused a greater change in thrombin generation at 34°C as compared to 37°C, and a greater change in PT at 40% dilution, suggesting that the effect of rFVIIa on coagulation is both temperature and dilution dependant.
TEG; thrombin generation; PT; aPTT
Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa, NovoSeven®) was introduced in 1996 for the treatment of hemophilic patients with antibodies against coagulation factor VIII or IX.
To review the evidence supporting the use of rFVIIa for the treatment of patients with congenital bleeding disorders.
Patients and methods:
English-language databases were searched in September 2009 for reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the ability of rFVIIa to restore hemostasis in patients with congenital bleeding disorders.
Eight RCTs involving 256 hemophilic patients with antibodies against coagulation factors, also known as inhibitors, were identified. The evidence supporting the use of rFVIIa in these patients was weak with regard to dose, clinical setting, mode of administration, efficacy, and adverse events, given the limited sample size of each RCT and the heterogeneity of the studies.
The authors suggest that rFVIIa therapy in hemophilic patients with inhibitors should be based on the individual’s ability to generate thrombin and form a clot, and not on the patient’s weight alone. Therefore, assays for thrombin generation, such as whole-blood thromboelastography, have the potential to significantly improve the treatment of these patients.
hemophilia; inhibitors; coagulation factor VIII; coagulation factor IX; rFVIIa; NovoSeven; FEIBA; hemostasis; RCT
Preclinical studies in animals and ex vivo human blood have provided a solid rationale for conducting prospective randomized trials in trauma patients. Small animal models have been utilized to study the efficacy of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa; NovoSeven®) in treating thrombocytopenic rabbits and for the reversal of anticoagulation. Safety models in the rabbit also exist to test for systemic activation of clotting and pathologic thrombosis. Animal models simulating traumatic injuries in humans have primarily been performed in pigs because of species similarities in terms of coagulation characteristics and the larger internal organs. The pig studies, utilizing human rFVIIa, have shown increased strength of clot formation, decreased bleeding, and improved survival. However, these findings are not uniform and are dependant on the model chosen. All of the animal models described have provided good safety data and suggest that the use of rFVIIa is not associated with systemic activation of coagulation or microthrombosis of end organs.
In this article we describe the current use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa; NovoSeven®) in trauma patients. Emphasis is placed on current uses as defined by key studies, efficacy data, and safety data. Most published studies in trauma patients are retrospective case studies and reports, although an international, double-blind, randomized, controlled, phase II study has been conducted that reported on the efficacy of rFVIIa in reducing the amount of blood products transfused in blunt trauma patients. That study demonstrated the efficacy and safety profile of this hemostatic agent as compared with placebo as adjunctive therapy in the management of severe bleeding associated with trauma. Further prospective, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trials will yield more information on the role of rFVIIa in the management of traumatic bleeding.
Major obstetric haemorrhage remains a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Previous case reports suggest the potential benefit of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa: NovoSevenR) as a haemostatic agent. We performed a retrospective review of the use of rVIIa in major obstetric haemorrhage in the Northern Region between July 2004 and February 2007. Fifteen women received rFVIIa. The median patient age was 34 years. Major haemorrhage occurred antepartum (5 patients), intrapartum (1), and postpartum (9). All women received an initial dose of 90 mcg/kg rFVIIa and one received 2 further doses. Bleeding stopped or decreased in 12 patients (80%). Additional measures included antifibrinolytic and uterotonic agents, Rusch balloon insertion, uterine curettage/packing, and vessel embolisation. Eight patients required hysterectomy. All women survived to discharge from hospital. No adverse events, including thrombosis, were recorded. This study provides further support for the safety and efficacy of rFVIIa as adjunct therapy in major obstetric haemorrhage.
Congenital factor VII (FVII) deficiency is a rare hemorrhagic disorder that can cause excessive bleeding during and after surgery in affected patients. The recombinant form of activated factor VII (rFVIIa, NovoSeven® from Novo Nordisk, Bagsvaerd, Denmark), which was developed as a second-generation bypassing agent, has recently been used in the management of bleeding for patients with congenital FVII deficiency.
We reviewed the results of 8 surgical procedures in 5 patients with congenital FVII deficiency at the Kyung Hee University Hospital, Gangdong, Seoul, Korea, between January 2008 and June 2010. We administrated rFVIIa preoperatively in six patients and postoperatively in five patients.
Between January 2008 and June 2010 at our center, 8 operations were performed successfully and no complications were observed in the 5 patients with congenital FVII deficiency. The median level of FVII activity was 2% (range, 0.6-7%). Four orthopedic procedures, 1 tonsillectomy, and 3 dental extractions were performed. The median duration of hospitalization was 8.5 days (range, 0-15 days). rFVIIa was administered at all procedures, except the dental extraction that was performed using only antifibrinolytic agents without any replacement. No bleeding or thrombogenic complications were observed in any case.
Patients with congenital FVII deficiency who require surgery can be treated efficiently and safely with rFVIIa or antifibrinolytic agents. rFVIIa was well tolerated and maintained effective hemostasis and showed good clinical outcome after the major surgery.
Congenital FVII deficiency; Surgery; rFVIIa; Antifibrinolytic agent
Introduction: Recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa; NovoSeven) is well recognized as an effective hemostatic agent in the management and prophylaxis of patients with hemophilia. We report here the successful use of rFVIIa in a coagulopathic burn patient. Methods: A 63-year-old man was admitted with significant upper-body burns in a total body surface area of 60%. Initial management included early intubation and escharotomies, with subsequent admission to the burn unit. Fascial excision was carried out with allograft placement. During a complicated hospital course, decline in platelet function was noted and was associated with the development of a generalized coagulopathy with elevated international normalized ratio. Following a routine follow-up debridement and autografting, extensive bleeding was noted from donor sites. A period of increasing hemodynamic instability followed in the burn unit, with serial hematocrit measurements pointing toward ongoing bleeding from the surgical sites. Following administration of significant amounts of blood product, it was decided to administer rFVIIa per pharmacy protocol. Results: Within 4 hours of administration of rFVIIa, the patient was noted to be hemodynamically stable with unchanging serial hematocrit measurements. Hemostasis was attributed to the use of rFVIIa with prior administration of platelets. Conclusions: Our case demonstrates the successful use of rFVIIa in the severely coagulopathic burn patient.
Haemodilution during resuscitation after massive haemorrhage may worsen the coagulopathy and perpetuate bleeding.
Materials and methods
Blood samples from healthy donors were diluted (30 and-60%) using crystalloids (saline, Ringer’s lactate, PlasmalyteTM) or colloids (6% hydroxyethylstarch [HES130/0.4], 5% human albumin, and gelatin). The effects of haemodilution on platelet adhesion (Impact R), thrombin generation (TG), and thromboelastometry (TEM) parameters were analysed as were the effects of fibrinogen, prothrombin complex concentrates (PCC), activated recombinant factor VII (FVIIa), and cryoprecipates on haemodilution.
Platelet interactions was already significantly reduced at 30% haemodilution. Platelet reactivity was not improved by addition of any of the concentrates tested. A decrease in TG and marked alterations of TEM parameters were noted at 60% haemodilution. HES130/0.4 was the expander with the most deleterious action. TG was significantly enhanced by PCC whereas rFVIIa only caused a mild acceleration of TG initiation. Fibrinogen restored the alterations of TEM parameters caused by haemodilution including those caused by HES 130/0.4. Cryoprecipitates significantly improved the alterations caused by haemodilution on TG and TEM parameters; the effects on TG disappeared after ultracentrifugation of the cryoprecipitates.
The haemostatic alterations caused by haemodilution are multifactorial and affect both blood cells and coagulation. In our in vitro approach, HES 130/0.4 had the most deleterious effect on haemostasis parameters. Coagulation factor concentrates did not improve platelet interactions in the Impact R, but did have favourable effects on coagulation parameters measured by TG and TEM. Fibrinogen notably improved TEM parameters without increasing thrombin generation, suggesting that this concentrate may help to preserve blood clotting abilities during haemodilution without enhancing the prothrombotic risk.
haemodilution; coagulation factor concentrates; platelet function; thrombin generation; thromboelastometry
Haemodilution and hypothermia induce coagulopathy separately, but their combined effect on coagulation has not been widely studied. Fibrinogen concentrate can correct dilutional coagulopathy and has an additional effect when combined with factor XIII concentrate. However, their effect on dilutional coagulopathy concomitant with hypothermia has not been studied previously. Free oscillation rheometry – FOR (Reorox®) – is a novel viscoelastic haemostatic assay that has not been studied in this context before.
Blood from 10 healthy volunteers was diluted by 33% with hydroxyethyl starch or Ringer’s acetate solutions. Effects of fibrinogen added in vitro with and without factor XIII were studied at 33°C and 37°C. Coagulation velocity (coagulation time) and clot strength (elasticity) were assessed with FOR. Coagulation was initiated in vitro with thromboplastin alone, or thromboplastin plus a platelet inhibitor.
Hydroxyethyl starch increased the coagulation time and decreased clot strength significantly more than Ringer’s acetate solution, both in the presence and absence of a platelet inhibitor. There was a significant interaction between haemodilution with hydroxyethyl starch and hypothermia, resulting in increased coagulation time. After addition of fibrinogen, coagulation time shortened and elasticity increased, with the exception of fibrinogen-dependent clot strength (i.e., elasticity in the presence of a platelet inhibitor) after hydroxyethyl starch haemodilution. Factor XIII had an additional effect with fibrinogen on fibrinogen-dependent clot strength in blood diluted with Ringer’s acetate solution. Hypothermia did not influence any of the coagulation factor effects.
Both haemodilution and mild hypothermia impaired coagulation. Coagulopathy was more pronounced after haemodilution with hydroxyethyl starch than with Ringer’s acetate. Addition of fibrinogen with factor XIII was unable to reverse hydroxyethyl starch induced clot instability, but improved coagulation in blood diluted with Ringer’s acetate solution. Fibrinogen improved coagulation irrespective of hypothermia.
Free oscillation rheometry; Thrombelastography; Coagulation factor concentrate; Fibrinogen; Factor XIII; Haemodilution; Hypothermia; Coagulopathy; Hydroxyethyl starch; Ringer’s acetate solution
Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions are widely used for volume replacement therapy but are also known to compromise coagulation, impair renal function and increase long-term mortality. To test the hypotheses that HES 130/0.4 has fewer adverse effects than HES 200/0.5 and exerts anti-inflammatory properties, we compared the effects of HES 130/0.4, HES 200/0.5 and saline on in vitro haemostasis and pro-inflammatory platelet function.
Whole blood samples from healthy volunteers were mixed with 6% HES 130/0.4, 10% HES 200/0.5, or normal saline to achieve a final haemodilution rate of 10% or 40%. Haemostatic capacity was characterised by thromboelastography (ROTEM) and measurement for FXIIIa activity. Platelet activation and pro-inflammatory platelet functions were characterised by flow cytometry measuring the platelet activation marker CD62P and binding of fibrinogen to platelets as well as the formation of heterotypic platelet-leukocyte conjugates.
Compared with saline, HES 130/0.4 dose-dependently impaired formation and firmness of the fibrin clot but did not affect the fibrin crosslinking activity of FXIIIa. At 40% but not at 10% haemodilution rate, HES 200/0.5 also increased platelet fibrinogen binding and both HES solutions increased expression of CD62P, the main receptor for platelet-leukocyte adhesion. HES 130/0.4 but not HES 200/0.5 increased formation of platelet-neutrophil conjugates and, to a lesser degree, platelet-monocyte conjugates.
Our data demonstrate that HES 130/0.4 has similar adverse effects as HES 200/0.5. In particular, both types of HES impair coagulation capacity and stimulate, rather than attenuate, pro-inflammatory platelet function.
Rotational thromboelastography (ROTEG) has been proposed as a monitoring tool that can be used to monitor treatment of hemophilia with recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa). In these studies special non-standard reagents were used as activators of the coagulation. The aim of this study was to evaluate if standard ROTEG analysis could be used for monitoring of effects of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) on Hydroxy Ethyl Starch-induced dilutional coagulopathy.
The study was performed in vitro on healthy volunteers. Prothrombin time (PT) and ROTEG analysis were performed after dilution with 33% hydroxy ethyl starch and also after addition of rFVIIa to the diluted blood.
PT was impaired with INR changing from 0.9 before dilution to 1.2 after dilution while addition of rFVIIa to diluted blood lead to an overcorrection of the PT to an International Normalized Ratio (INR) value of 0.6 (p = 0.01). ROTEG activated with the contact activator ellagic acid was impaired by hemodilution (p = 0.01) while addition of rFVIIa had no further effects. ROTEG activated with tissue factor (TF) was also impaired by hemodilution (p = 0.01) while addition of rFVIIa lead to further impairment of the coagulation (p = 0.01).
The parameters affected in the ROTEG analysis were Clot Formation Time and Amplitude after 15 minutes while the Clotting Time was unaffected. We believe these effects to be due to methodological problems when using standard activators of the coagulation in the ROTEG analysis in combination with rFVIIa.
Uncontrolled bleeding continues to be a major cause of mortality in trauma, cardiac surgery, postpartum hemorrhage and liver failure. The aim of this paper is to assess the evidence supporting the efficacy of activated recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) administration in these settings.
Electronic literature search.
Numerous retrospective trials have mostly shown a decrease in blood transfusion requirements with no increase in thromboembolic events (TEE), but major limitations in trial design make generalization difficult. In most retrospective reports rFVIIa has been administered as a last-ditch attempt to control bleeding, when acidosis, hypothermia and coagulation factor depletion may not allow optimal rFVIIa effect. Prospective randomized controlled trials have not shown any effect of rFVIIa on mortality or TEE, although some have shown a reduction in RBC requirement.
Stipulated transfusion protocols in prospective trials have reduced anticipated mortality among controls and make future trials for mortality effect unlikely in view of large sample size requirements. Establishment of these protocols and rapid hemostasis are likely to have greater benefits than administration of a single agent.
Factor VII; Coagulation factors; Bleeding complication
The bypassing agent recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) is efficacious in treating bleeding in hemophilia patients with inhibitors. Efforts have focused on the rational engineering of rFVIIa variants with increased hemostatic potential. One rFVIIa analog (V158D/E296V/M298Q-FVIIa, NN1731) improves thrombin generation and clotting in purified systems, whole blood from hemophilic patients and factor VIII-deficient mice.
We used calibrated automated thrombography and plasma clotting assays to compare effects of bypassing agents (rFVIIa, NN1731) on hemophilic clot formation, structure, and ability to resist fibrinolysis.
Both rFVIIa and NN1731 shortened the clotting onset and increased the maximum rate of fibrin formation and fibrin network density in hemophilic plasma clots. In the presence of tissue plasminogen activator, both rFVIIa and NN1731 shortened the time to peak turbidity (TTPeaktPA) and increased the area under the clot formation curve (AUCtPA). Phospholipids increased both rFVIIa and NN1731 activity in a lipid concentration-dependent manner. Estimated geometric mean concentrations of rFVIIa and NN1731 producing similar onset, rate, TTPeaktPA, and AUCtPA as seen with 100% factors VIII and IX were: 24.5, 74.3, 29.7, and 37.1 nM rFVIIa, and 8.6, 31.2, 9.0, and 11.3 nM NN1731, respectively. In each case, the NN1731 concentration was significantly lower than rFVIIa.
These findings suggest that like rFVIIa, NN1731 improves the formation, structure, and stability of hemophilic clots. Higher lipid concentrations may facilitate assessment of both rFVIIa and NN1731 activity. NN1731 appears likely to support rapid clot formation in tissues with high endogenous fibrinolytic activity.
hemophilia; recombinant factor VIIa; fibrinogen; fibrinolysis; NN1731
Background: Hemorrhagic shock and trauma are associated with acidosis and altered coagulation. A fall in pH has been reported to attenuate the activity of recombinant activated Factor VII (rFVIIa) in vitro. However, it is not known if acidosis induced by hemorrhagic shock or infusion of HCl attenuates FVIIa activity in vivo. The purpose of this study was to determine if acidosis, induced by two methods, affects recombinant FVIIa (rFVIIa) activity in swine, and if correction of the pH restores rFVIIa activity to normal. Methods: Acidosis was induce in anesthetized swine in two separate models: 1) HCl infusion (n=10) and 2) hemorrhage/hypoventilation (n=8). Three groups per model were used: Control (pH7.4), Acidosis (arterial pH7.1) and Acidosis-Corrected (bicarbonate infusion to return pH from 7.1 to 7.4). Pigs were then injected with rFVIIa (90 μg/kg) or vehicle (saline) at target pH and arterial blood samples were taken for measurement of coagulation function, including Thromboelastography -TEG, Thrombin Generation, Activated Clotting Time, Prothrombin Time, activated Partial Thromboplastin Time, Fibrinogen Concentration and Platelet count before and 5min after injection of rFVIIa. Results: Acidosis led to a hypocoagulation as measured by almost all coagulation parameters in both models. Furthermore, the change in coagulation function produced after infusion of rFVIIa was not different between control, acidosis and acidosis-corrected groups for all coagulation parameters measured. Conclusion: Acidosis associated with hemorrhagic shock or HCl infusion led to a hypocoagulation that was not corrected with bicarbonate infusion. Furthermore, acidosis did not affect rFVIIa function, and correction of the acidosis with bicarbonate had no effect on rFVIIa function in these models. This suggests that in vivo acidosis did not diminish rFVIIa function.
Hemorrhage; acidosis; hypoventilation; hypocoagulation; thromboelastography; thrombin generation; rotational thromboelastogram; fibrinogen; platelets; coagulation parameters; recombinant factor VIIa
This report discusses a case of unsuccessful treatment with recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) in off-label use. The need for international guidelines concerning the off-label use of rFVIIa is outlined as well as the need for methods to control the efficacy of rFVIIa objectively.
54 year old male with severe polymicrobial sepsis due to a perforated diverticulitis of the sigmoid colon and consecutive overt disseminated intravascular coagulation. He suffered severe intraabdominal bleeding after abdominal surgery despite conventional haemostatic support. Repeated applications of factor VIIa temporarily improved coagulation essays but did not stop clinical bleeding. The patient died in multiorgan failure due to septic and haemorrhagic shock.
Off-label use of rFVIIa could result in more side effects than could be expected from literature because of a publication bias. However for most off-label applications large prospective, randomised and controlled trials to confirm the positive findings are missing. For the future, not only guidelines concerning the off-label use of rFVIIa are urgently needed but also guidelines for monitoring the efficacy of rFVIIa.
The use of recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) as a last resort for the management of coagulopathy when there is severe metabolic acidosis during large bleedings in trauma might be deemed inappropriate. The objective of this study was to identify critical degrees of acidosis and associated factors at which rFVIIa might be considered of no utility.
All massively transfused (≥ 8 units of red blood cells within 12 hours) trauma patients from Jan 2000 to Nov 2006. Demographic, baseline physiologic and rFVIIa dosage data were collected. Rate of red blood cell transfusion in the first 6 hours of hospitalization (RBC/hr) was calculated and used as a surrogate for bleeding. Last resort use of rFVIIa was defined by a pH≤ 7.02 based on ROC analysis for survival. In-hospital mortality was analyzed in last resort and non-last resort groups. Univariate analysis was performed to assess for differences between groups and identify factors associates with no utility of rFVIIa.
71 patients who received rFVIIa were analyzed. The pH> 7.02 had 100% sensitivity for the identification of potential survivors. All 11 coagulopathic, severely acidotic (pH ≤ 7.02) patients with high rates of bleeding (4RBC/hr) died despite administration of rFVIIa. The financial cost of administering rFVIIa as a last resort to these 11 severely acidotic and coagulophatic cases was $75,162 (CA).
Our study found no utility of rFVIIa in treating severely acidotic, coagulopathic trauma patients with high rates of bleeding; and thus restrictions should be set on its usage in these circumstances.
Recent clinical studies suggest that the prophylactic use of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) markedly reduces the number of bleeding episodes in hemophilic patients with inhibitors. Given the short biological half-life of rFVIIa, it is unclear how rFVIIa could be effective in prophylactic treatment.
To examine the extravascular distribution of pharmacologically administered rFVIIa to obtain clues on how rFVIIa could work in prophylaxis.
Recombinant mouse FVIIa tagged with AF488 fluorophore (AF488-FVIIa) was administered into mice via the tail vein. At different time intervals following the administration, mice were exsanguinated and various tissues were collected. The tissue sections were processed for immunohistochemistry to evaluate distribution of rFVIIa.
rFVIIa, immediately following the administration, associated with the endothelium lining of large blood vessels. Within 1 h, rFVIIa bound to endothelial cells was transferred to the perivascular tissue surrounding the blood vessels and thereafter diffused throughout the tissue. In the liver, rFVIIa was localized to sinusoidal capillaries and accumulated in hepatocytes. In bone, rFVIIa was accumulated in the zone of calcified cartilage and some of it was retained there for a week. The common finding of the present study is that rFVIIa in extravascular spaces was mostly localized to regions that contain TF expressing cells.
The present study demonstrates that pharmacologically administered rFVIIa readily associates with the vascular endothelium and subsequently enters into extravascular spaces where it is likely to bind to TF and is retained for extended time periods. This may explain the prolonged pharmacological effect of rFVIIa.
bio-distribution; endothelial cell protein C receptor; hemophilia; prophylaxis; rFVIIa; tissue factor
Recombinant activated coagulation factor VII (rFVIIa) is known to be effective in the management of acquired deficiencies of factor VII and platelet function defects. But recently, rFVIIa has been successfully used to treat ongoing bleeding in disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC) condition. The patient reported here was suspected to be suffering from toxic hepatitis on admission. After percutaneous liver biopsy, bleeding occurred and did not stop even after right hepatic artery embolization. The patient developed a severe hemorrhage that resulted in hypovolemic shock, hemoperitoneum, and a massive subcapsular hematoma. The patient then developed DIC due to massive transfusion, as well as acute liver necrosis. The patient was given 400 μg/kg of rFVIIa. Recombinant factor VIIa was administered in an attempt to control the bleeding. This stabilized the hemoglobin levels of the patient. The patient gradually recovered in 4 months. In conclusion, this case suggests that rFVIIa can be successfully used for the hemostasis of uncontrolled bleeding in DIC.
Recombinant activated coagulation factor VII; Subcapsular hematoma
To describe the off-label use of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) in tertiary care pediatric hospitals across the United States and to assess thrombotic events.
A retrospective multicenter cohort study utilizing the Pediatric Health Information System administrative database. Children 18 years of age or younger who received rFVIIa between 2000–2007 were included. A label admission was defined as an admission with an International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9-CM) diagnostic code for hemophilia or factor VII deficiency; admissions without these codes were classified as off-label.
There were 4,942 rFVIIa admissions, representing 3,764 individual subjects. 74% (3655) of the admissions were off-label. There was a 10-fold increase in the annual rate of off-label admissions from 2000 to 2007 (from 2 to 20.8 per 10,000 hospital admissions, p<.001). The mortality rate in the off-label group was 34% (1258/3655). Thrombotic events occurred in 10.9% (399/3655) of the off-label admissions.
The off-label use of rFVIIa in hospitalized children is increasing rapidly despite the absence of adequate clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy. Thrombotic events are common and mortality is high among patients receiving off-label rFVIIa. Further studies are warranted to determine whether these adverse events are attributable to rFVIIa.
recombinant factor VIIa; off-label; thrombosis; pediatric
As interest in the use of activated recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) in trauma grows, questions arise regarding how best to monitor rFVIIa therapy and when rFVIIa may be expected to improve hemostasis. Knowledge of the mechanisms of action may be combined with available data on laboratory monitoring and efficacy in various coagulopathic states in coming to clinically relevant conclusions. This review addresses the physiology of hemostasis, placing emphasis on how rFVIIa influences the process by both tissue factor dependent and tissue factor independent mechanisms. This is extended to a mechanistic consideration of how rFVIIa may function under acidotic, hypothermic, and hemodilutional and/or consumptive conditions of trauma related coagulopathy. When these considerations are viewed alongside the available clinical data, it becomes apparent that rFVIIa has potential to improve hemostasis during trauma coagulopathy, within limitations. Common laboratory procedures are discussed with reference to mechanisms of action of rFVIIa and the available clinical data. Although there is no single assay that can predict rFVIIa efficacy in trauma, the prothrombin time (PT) is recommended as a minimum. Although a shortened PT does not predict success, correction of PT into the normal range may be a better indicator. A nonresponding PT appears to indicate that rFVIIa alone will not lead to hemostasis, and that additional blood products and other measures must be applied. Once the patient is more stable, PT and thromboelastography are recommended.
Inhibitors against replacement clotting factors occur in approximately 30%–40% of patients with hemophilia A and 1.5%–3% of patients with hemophilia B. In this group of patients, bleeding events are best treated with bypassing agents. Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has become the first-line agent in treating surgical and non-surgical bleeding in many centres with efficacy at standard 90 μg/kg doses approaching 90%. The greater efficacy is associated with early initiation of treatment, as well as, possibly larger doses of rFVIIa. A higher concentration appears to be essential in initiating an adequate thrombin burst, which results in a stable clot. Higher dosage regimens, home therapy and continuous infusion regimens are continuously evolving as we strive to define optimal dosing strategies in hemophilia patients. rFVIIa has been a remarkably safe agent for hemophiliacs but with high dosages being advocated and older patients being given such doses outside a trial setting, thromboembolic events remain a concern.
recombinant activated factor VII; hemophilia; inhibitors; bleeding
Background and Purpose
Based on an experimental model of warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage, we investigated whether the rapid reversal of anticoagulation using prothrombin complex concentrates (PCC) or recombinant activated coagulation factor VII (rFVIIa) reduces hematoma volume.
Mice were orally pretreated with warfarin (2 mg/kg). Intracerebral hemorrhage was induced by collagenase injection into the right striatum. Forty-five minutes later, PCC (100 IE/kg), rFVIIa (1 mg/kg), or an equal volume of saline was administered intravenously. Hematoma volume after 24 hours was quantified using a photometric hemoglobin assay.
International normalized ratio was 4.3 ± 0.4 in saline-treated mice, 0.9 ± 0.1 in rFVIIa mice, and 1.4 ± 0.2 in PCC mice. Intracerebral hemorrhage volume was 29.0 ± 19.7 µL in the saline group (n = 7), 8.6 ± 4.3 µL in the rFVIIa group (n = 6), and 6.1 ± 1.8 µL in the PCC group (n = 7; analysis of variance between-group differences P = 0.004; post hoc rFVIIa versus saline P = 0.021; PCC versus saline P = 0.007). No significant difference was found between PCC- and rFVIIa-treated animals.
Our results suggest that PCC and rFVIIa are equally effective in restoring coagulation and preventing excessive hematoma growth in acute warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage.
animal models; anticoagulation; ICH; intracerebral hemorrhage; warfarin
To determine whether recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) is associated with increased survival and/or thromboembolic complications.
Uncontrollable hemorrhage is the main cause of early mortality in trauma. rFVIIa has been suggested for the management of refractory hemorrhage. However, there is conflicting evidence about the survival benefit of rFVIIa in trauma. Furthermore, recent reports have raised concerns about increased thromboembolic events with rFVIIa use.
Consecutive massively transfused (≥ 8 units of red blood cells within 12 h) trauma patients were studied. Data on demographics, injury severity scores, baseline laboratory values and use of rFVIIa were collected. Rate of transfusion in the first 6 h was used as surrogate for bleeding. Study outcomes included 24‐hour and in‐hospital survival, and thromboembolic events. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine the impact of rFVIIa on 24‐hour and in‐hospital survival.
Three‐hundred and twenty‐eight patients were massively transfused. Of these, 72 patients received rFVIIa. As expected, patients administered rFVIIa had a greater degree of shock than the non‐rFVIIa group. Using logistic regression to adjust for predictors of death in the regression analysis, rFVIIa was a significant predictor of 24‐hour survival (odds ratio (OR) = 2.65; confidence interval 1.26–5.59; p = 0.01) but not of in‐hospital survival (OR = 1.63; confidence interval 0.79–3.37; p = 0.19). No differences were seen in clinically relevant thromboembolic events.
Despite being associated with improved 24‐hour survival, rFVIIa is not associated with a late survival to discharge in massively transfused civilian trauma patients.
Coagulopathy; Bleeding; Thromboembolic events; Hemorrhagic shock
Phase I/II placebo-controlled clinical trials of recombinant Factor VIIa (rFVIIa) suggested that administration of rFVIIa within 4 hours after onset of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is safe, limits ICH growth, and improves outcomes. We sought to determine the cost-effectiveness of rFVIIa for acute ICH treatment, using published Phase II data. We hypothesized that rFVIIa would have a low marginal cost-effectiveness ratio (mCER) given the poor neurologic outcomes after ICH with conventional management.
We performed an incremental cost-effectiveness analysis from the societal perspective, considering conventional management vs. 80 ug/kg rFVIIa treatment for acute ICH cases meeting Phase II inclusion criteria. The time frame for the analysis was 1. 25 years: data from the Phase II trial was used for 90 day outcomes and rFVIIa complications – arterial thromboembolic events (ATE). We assumed no substantial cost differences in care between the two strategies except: 1) cost of rFVIIa (for an 80 mcg/kg dose in an 80 kg patient, assumed cost of $6,408); 2) cost of ATE side effects from rFVIIa (which also decrease quality of life and increase the chance of death); and 3) differential monetary costs of outcomes and their impact on quality of life, including disposition (home vs. nursing home), and outpatient vs. inpatient rehabilitation. Sensitivity analyses were performed to explore uncertainty in parameter estimates, impact of rFVIIa cost, direct cost of neurologic outcomes, probability of ATE, and outcomes after ATE.
In the "base case", treating ICH with rFVIIa dominates the usual care strategy by being more effective and less costly. rFVIIa maintained a mCER < $50,000/QALY over a wide range of sensitivity analyses. Sensitivity analyses showed that the cost of rFVIIa must exceed $14,500, or the frequency of ATE exceed 29%, for the mCER to exceed $50,000/QALY. Varying the cost and/or reducing the utility of health states following ATE did not impact results.
Based on data from preliminary trials, treating selected ICH patients with rFVIIa results in lower cost and improved clinical outcomes. This potential cost-effectiveness must be considered in light of the Phase III trial results.
This article focuses on our current understanding of the role of activated coagulation factor VII (FVIIa) in coagulation, the current evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of recombinant FVIIa (rFVIIa), and thoughts regarding the use of rFVIIa in spine surgery. rFVIIa is approved in many countries (including the European Union and the USA) for patients with hemophilia and inhibitors (antibodies) to coagulation factors VIII or IX. High circulating concentrations of FVIIa, achieved by exogenous administration, initiate hemostasis by combining with tissue factor at the site of injury, producing thrombin, activating platelets and coagulation factors II, IX and X, thus providing for the full thrombin burst that is essential for hemostasis. This “bypass” therapy has led some clinicians to use rFVIIa “off-label” for disorders of hemostasis other than hemophilia. Based on clinical experience, case reports and limited information from clinical trials, rFVIIa may be efficacious in states of decreased concentration of coagulation factors, thrombocytopenia, and at least some states of altered platelet function. The former two can occur intra-operatively during spinal surgery as a consequence of substantial blood loss and normal consumption. Preliminary reports have indicated that rFVIIa does not increase the perioperative incidence of thromboembolic events. However, full reports from large clinical trials regarding the efficacy and safety of rFVIIa in settings other than hemophilia have yet to appear in peer-reviewed publications. Until adequate data demonstrating safety and efficacy are fully reported, it would seem appropriate to reserve the use of rFVIIa in spinal surgery to those instances where conventional therapy cannot provide adequate hemostasis, and “rescue” therapy is required.
Blood loss; Coagulation; Coagulopathy; Hemostasis; Recombinant coagulation factor VIIa