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1.  Use of activated recombinant factor VII for severe coagulopathy post ventricular assist device or orthotopic heart transplant 
Ventricular assist devices(VAD) implantation/removal is a complex surgical procedure with perioperative bleeding complications occurring in nearly half of the cases. Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has been used off-label to control severe hemorrhage in surgery and trauma. We report here our experience with rFVIIa as a rescue therapy to achieve hemostasis in patients undergoing orthotopic heart transplant (OHT) and/or VAD implantation.
A retrospective review was conducted from Jan 03 to Aug 05 for patients who received rFVIIa for the management of intractable bleeding unresponsive to standard hemostatic blood component therapy. Blood loss and the quantity of blood products, prior to, and for at least 12 hours after, administration of rFVIIa were recorded.
Mean patient age was 53, (38–64 yrs), mean dose of rFVIIa administered was 78.3 μg/kg (24–189 μg/kg) in 1–3 doses. All patients received the drug either intraoperatively or within 6 hours of arrival in ICU. Mean transfusion requirements and blood loss were significantly reduced after rFVIIa administration (PRBC's; 16.9 ± 13.3 to 7.1 ± 6.9 units, FFP; 13.1 ± 8.2 to 4.1 ± 4.9 units, platelets; 4.0 ± 2.8 to 2.1 ± 2.2 units, p < 0.04 for all). 5 patients expired including 3 with thromboembolic cause. One patient developed a lower extremity arterial thrombus, and another deep vein thrombosis.
In this review, there was a significant decrease in transfusion requirement and blood loss after rFVIIa administration. Although, 5/17 developed thromboembolic complications, these patients may have been at higher risk based on the multiple modality therapy used to manage intractable bleeding. Nevertheless, the exact role of rFVIIa with respect to development of thromboembolic complications cannot be clearly determined. Further investigation is needed to determine rFVIIa's safety and its effectiveness in improving postoperative morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC1939840  PMID: 17617902
2.  Intraoperative Use of Low-Dose Recombinant Activated Factor VII During Thoracic Aortic Operations 
The Annals of thoracic surgery  2012;93(6):1921-1929.
Numerous studies have supported the effectiveness of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) for the control of bleeding after cardiac procedures; however safety concerns persist. Here we report the novel use of intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa in thoracic aortic operations, a strategy intended to improve safety by minimizing rFVIIa exposure.
Between July 2005 and December 2010, 425 consecutive patients at a single referral center underwent thoracic aortic operations with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB); 77 of these patients received intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa (≤60 μg/kg) for severe coagulopathy after CPB. Propensity matching produced a cohort of 88 patients (44 received intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa and 44 controls) for comparison.
Matched patients receiving intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa got an initial median dose of 32 μg/kg (interquartile range [IQR], 16–43 μg/kg) rFVIIa given 51 minutes (42–67 minutes) after separation from CPB. Patients receiving intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa demonstrated improved postoperative coagulation measurements (partial thromboplastin time 28.6 versus 31.5 seconds; p = 0.05; international normalized ratio, 0.8 versus 1.2; p < 0.0001) and received 50% fewer postoperative blood product transfusions (2.5 versus 5.0 units; p = 0.05) compared with control patients. No patient receiving intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa required postoperative rFVIIa administration or reexploration for bleeding. Rates of stroke, thromboembolism, myocardial infarction, and other adverse events were equivalent between groups.
Intraoperative low-dose rFVIIa led to improved postoperative hemostasis with no apparent increase in adverse events. Intraoperative rFVIIa administration in appropriately selected patients may correct coagulopathy early in the course of refractory blood loss and lead to improved safety through the use of smaller rFVIIa doses. Appropriately powered randomized studies are necessary to confirm the safety and efficacy of this approach.
PMCID: PMC3718882  PMID: 22551846
3.  Recombinant factor VIIA is associated with an improved 24‐hour survival without an improvement in inpatient survival in massively transfused civilian trauma patients 
Clinics  2011;66(1):101-106.
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.
PMCID: PMC3044583  PMID: 21437444
Coagulopathy; Bleeding; Thromboembolic events; Hemorrhagic shock
4.  Salvage use of activated recombinant factor VII in the management of refractory bleeding following cardiac surgery 
Journal of blood medicine  2011;2:131-134.
Refractory post cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) bleeding continues to cause concern for cardiac surgeons and intensivists. Massive postoperative hemorrhage following CPB is multifactorial and not fully understood, and it is also associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Activated recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) has emerged as possible salvage medication in refractory post cardiac surgical bleeding. This observational study sought to identify the pattern of use of rFVIIa in cardiac surgery, its effectiveness, and risk.
This study involved a retrospective case review of medical records of ten patients undergoing a variety of cardiac surgery procedures and who developed life-threatening bleeding during surgery or after surgery despite conventional medical therapy, including transfusion of blood and blood products, and received rFVIIa at a regional center between August 2007 and April 2009.
All ten patients received two consecutive doses of rFVIIa (average dose 65 μg/kg) at a 2-hour interval. Eight patients were re-explored due to massive postoperative bleeding or cardiac tamponade before receiving rFVIIa. Surgical sources of bleeding were not identified in any cases. A second re-exploration was carried out in two cases. Two patients (20%) died in ITU from problems not related to bleeding and thromboembolism. Blood loss was significantly reduced after administration of rFVIIa. Blood loss 6 hours prior to treatment was 1758.5 ± 163.9 mL and blood loss in the 6-hour period post treatment was 405.6 ± 50.5 mL (P < 0.05). Blood and blood products used in the 6-hour period before and after administration of rFVIIa were 19.6 ± 1.5U and 4.4 ± 0.6U, respectively (P < 0.05). No adverse reactions or thrombotic complications related to rFVIIa were noted.
In our limited study, use of rFVIIa in refractory post surgical bleeding was significantly reduced blood loss and use of blood and blood products. We concluded that rFVIIa can be used satisfactorily and safely as a rescue therapy in the management of post cardiac surgical bleeding.
PMCID: PMC3262339  PMID: 22287872
cardiopulmonary bypass; CPB; refractory bleeding; rFVIIa
5.  Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) as salvage treatment for intractable hemorrhage 
Thrombosis Journal  2004;2:9.
Recently, there has been an increased use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) to promote hemostasis in various hemorrhagic conditions. The objective of this study was to determine the outcome of patients treated with rFVIIa who had intractable bleeding associated with cardiac surgery (CSP) or as a result of other causes (OBP).
The medical records of 40 consecutive patients treated with rFVIIa were retrospectively reviewed for blood product use before and after treatment. In all patients, rFVIIa was given only after all other measures to stop bleeding had failed. The number of transfused units of red cells (R), platelets (P), fresh frozen plasma (F), and cryoprecipitate (C) were determined both before and after administration of rFVIIa, and the results compared. Mortality at 4 hours and 30 days was assessed. Patients dying within 4 hours of rFVIIa administration were not evaluable for response. Patient characteristics were also assessed as risk factors for mortality.
Twelve of 24 CSP survived for more than 4 hours. These 12 patients required an average of 17 units (U) of R, 18 U of P, 18 U of F and 15 U of C pre-treatment compared to an average of 6 U, 10 U, 9 U and 4 U of R, P, F and C respectively, post-treatment. These differences were statistically significant. For the OBP, 11 of 16 survived more than four hours. These 11 patients required an average of 10 U of R, 11 U of P, 14 U of F and 10 U of C pretreatment compared to an average of 1 U, 2 U, 2 U and 0 U of R, P, F, and C respectively, post-treatment. With the exception of C, there was a statistically significant decrease in blood product use following treatment with rFVIIa. Of the survivors in each group, 6 of 12 CSP and 2 of 11 OBP died between 3 and 30 days post-treatment from causes other than bleeding. Mortality at 30 days for CSP and OBP survivors was 50% and 18% respectively, whereas overall 30 day mortality was 75% for CSP and 44% for OBP.
rFVIIa is effective in decreasing blood product use and promoting hemostasis in patients with intractable bleeding associated with cardiac surgery and a variety of other causes.
PMCID: PMC535534  PMID: 15530167
6.  Recombinant coagulation factor VIIa—a novel haemostatic agent in scoliosis surgery? 
European Spine Journal  2005;15(6):944-952.
Spinal fusion surgery in children and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis is often associated with severe haemorrhage. Recombinant coagulation factor VIIa (rFVIIa) has previously been shown to be an effective haemostatic treatment for severe bleeding associated with a variety of coagulopathic and non-coagulopathic indications. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the safety and haemostatic efficacy of rFVIIa in a series of 26 consecutive adolescent patients with scoliosis (22 females; mean age 16.6 years) undergoing correctional surgery. A second series of 26 consecutive patients (20 females; mean age 16.2 years) who received standard therapy during surgery, represented historical controls. Blood loss, transfusion requirements, duration of surgery, and peri-operative measurements of coagulation parameters were compared between the two groups. Intra-operative and combined intra-operative and post-operative blood losses were significantly smaller in the rFVIIa-treatment group than in the historical controls (P=0.003 and 0.032, respectively); rFVIIa-treated patients also demonstrated significantly reduced blood loss per vertebral segment fused (P=0.032) and per hour of surgery (P<0.001). Intra-operative requirements for packed red blood cells were also significantly lower in the treatment group (P=0.042). Patients in the treatment group demonstrated rapid and maintained reduction of prothrombin time and international normalised ratio; values among rFVIIa-treated patients remained significantly lower than those in the control group at all time points evaluated (P<0.001). There were no deaths and no adverse events. These results suggest that rFVIIa is a safe and effective haemostatic agent for use during spinal fusion surgery in adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis; however, further research and randomised, placebo-controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3489422  PMID: 16133083
Bleeding; Haemostasis; Scoliosis; Surgery; RFVIIa
7.  Use of Activated Recombinant Factor VII in Severe Bleeding – Evidence for Efficacy and Safety in Trauma, Postpartum Hemorrhage, Cardiac Surgery, and Gastrointestinal Bleeding 
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.
PMCID: PMC3364092  PMID: 22670132
Factor VII; Coagulation factors; Bleeding complication
8.  Safety of rFVIIa in hemodynamically unstable polytrauma patients with traumatic brain injury: post hoc analysis of 30 patients from a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial 
Critical Care  2007;11(4):R85.
Trauma is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and uncontrolled hemorrhage responsible for the majority of these deaths. Recombinant activated factor VIIa (rFVIIa) is being investigated as an adjunctive hemostatic treatment for bleeding refractory to conventional replacement therapy in trauma patients. TBI is a common component of polytrauma injuries. However, the combination of TBI with polytrauma injuries is associated with specific risk factors and treatment modalities somewhat different from those of polytrauma without TBI. Although rFVIIa treatment may offer added potential benefit for patients with combined TBI and polytrauma, its safety in this population has not yet been assessed. We conducted a post hoc sub analysis of patients with TBI and severe blunt polytrauma enrolled into a prospective, international, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.
A post hoc analysis of study data was performed for 143 patients with severe blunt trauma enrolled in a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study, evaluating the safety and efficacy of intravenous rFVIIa (200 + 100 + 100 μg/kg) or placebo, to identify patients with a computed tomography (CT) diagnosis of TBI. The incidences of ventilator-free days, intensive care unit-free days, and thromboembolic, serious, and adverse events within the 30-day study period were assessed in this cohort.
Thirty polytrauma patients (placebo, n = 13; rFVIIa, n = 17) were identified as having TBI on CT. No significant differences in rates of mortality (placebo, n = 6, 46%, 90% confidence interval (CI): 22% to 71%; rFVIIa, n = 5, 29%, 90% CI: 12% to 56%; P = 0.19), in median numbers of intensive care unit-free days (placebo = 0, rFVIIa = 3; P = 0.26) or ventilator-free days (placebo = 0, rFVIIa = 10; P = 0.19), or in rates of thromboembolic adverse events (placebo, 15%, 90% CI: 3% to 51%; rFVIIa, 0%, 90% CI: 0% to 53%; P = 0.18) or serious adverse events (placebo, 92%, 90% CI: 68% to 98%; rFVIIa, 82%, 90% CI: 60% to 92%; P = 0.61) were observed between treatment groups.
The use of a total dose of 400 (200 + 100 + 100) μg/kg rFVIIa in this group of hemodynamically unstable polytrauma patients with TBI was not associated with an increased risk of mortality or with thromboembolic or adverse events.
PMCID: PMC2206502  PMID: 17686152
9.  Recombinant activated factor VII in controlling bleeding in non-hemophiliac patients 
Annals of Saudi Medicine  2010;30(3):198-202.
There have been recent reports on the successful use of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) in non-hemophiliac patients who have experienced heavy blood loss due to trauma with extensive organ damage and who have received multiple blood transfusions with hemostatic changes without success. The timing of administration, dosage, mortality, units of blood transfusion saved, risk of thrombotic events, and the risk/benefit ratio are still poorly defined.
We conducted a retrospective review of all medical records of patients who received rFVIIa between January 2003 and March 2008. Data collection included demographic characteristics, diagnosis, indications, comorbidities, and amount of blood products used with rFVIIa, dose of rFVIIa, mortality, and adverse events.
We identified 45 patients, 27 (60%) males and 18 (40%) females, with a median age of 52 years. The median dose of rFVIIa was 40 μg/kg (range, 20-120 μg/kg). Five (11.1%) patients needed a second dose of rFVIIa (dose range of 20-85 μg/kg) whereas three patients (6.7%) needed a third dose of rFVIIa (dose range of 40-60 μg/kg). There was a marked and significant reduction in transfusion requirements for packed red blood cells (P=.0078). Overall transfusion requirements significantly decreased after the infusion of rFVIIa (P=.0323). Nineteen patients (42.2%) died and thrombosis was documented in 3 patients (6.7%).
Use of rFVIIa should be based on sound clinical evidence to balance the risks, benefits, and cost if used among non-hemophiliacs. Prospective randomized studies are needed to investigate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of rFVIIa for this indication and to allow a final assessment of the importance of this treatment.
PMCID: PMC2886869  PMID: 20427935
10.  Cost effectiveness of recombinant factor VIIa for treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage 
BMC Neurology  2008;8:17.
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.
PMCID: PMC2397434  PMID: 18489750
11.  The use of recombinant activated coagulation factor VII for spine surgery 
European Spine Journal  2004;13(Suppl 1):S83-S88.
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.
PMCID: PMC3592181  PMID: 15160317
Blood loss; Coagulation; Coagulopathy; Hemostasis; Recombinant coagulation factor VIIa
12.  The utility of recombinant factor VIIa as a last resort in trauma 
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.
PMCID: PMC3424973  PMID: 23531130
13.  Evaluation of Recombinant Factor VIIa Treatment for Massive Hemorrhage in Patients with Multiple Traumas 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2012;32(2):145-152.
Recent studies and case reports have shown that recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) treatment is effective for reversing coagulopathy and reducing blood transfusion requirements in trauma patients with life-threatening hemorrhage. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of rFVIIa treatment on clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness in trauma patients.
Between January 2007 and December 2010, we reviewed the medical records of patients who were treated with rFVIIa (N=18) or without rFVIIa (N=36) for life-threatening hemorrhage due to multiple traumas at the Emergency Department of Pusan National University Hospital in Busan, Korea. We reviewed patient demographics, baseline characteristics, initial vital signs, laboratory test results, and number of units transfused, and then analyzed clinical outcomes and 24-hr and 30-day mortality rates. Thromboembolic events were monitored in all patients. Transfusion costs and hospital stay costs were also calculated.
In the rFVIIa-treated group, laboratory test results and clinical outcomes improved, and the 24-hr mortality rate decreased compared to that in the untreated group; however, 30-day mortality rate did not differ between the groups. Thromboembolic events did not occur in both groups. Transfusion and hospital stay costs in the rFVIIa-treated group were cost effective; however, total treatment costs, including the cost of rFVIIa, were not cost effective.
In our study, rFVIIa treatment was shown to be helpful as a supplementary drug to improve clinical outcomes and reduce the 24-hr mortality rate, transfusion and hospital stay costs, and transfusion requirements in trauma patients with life-threatening hemorrhage.
PMCID: PMC3289780  PMID: 22389882
Recombinant factor VIIa; Multiple trauma; Clinical outcome; Mortality rate; Treatment cost
14.  Recombinant activated factor VIIa for the treatment of bleeding in major abdominal surgery including vascular and urological surgery: a review and meta-analysis of published data 
Critical Care  2008;12(1):R14.
The purpose of this study was to determine the role of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in abdominal, vascular, and urological surgery.
We conducted meta-analyses of case series and placebo-controlled studies reporting on the treatment or prophylaxis of bleeding with rFVIIa regarding 'reduction or cessation of bleeding', 'mortality', and 'thromboembolism'.
All case reports (n = 15 case reports and 17 patients) documented an effect of rFVIIa in the treatment of bleeding. A meta-analysis of 10 case series revealed a reduction or cessation of bleeding in 39 out of 50 patients after administration of rFVIIa (estimated mean effect 73.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 51.0% to 95.4%) and a mean probability of survival of 53.0% (95% CI 26.4% to 79.7%). Among the rFVIIa responders, 19 out of 29 patients (66%) survived versus 1 out of 10 rFVIIa nonresponders (P = 0.003). Six out of 36 patients from the case series had a thromboembolic complication (estimated mean probability 16.5%, 95% CI 1.2% to 31.8%). Compared with a meta-analysis of eight placebo-controlled studies, no increased risk of thromboembolism was seen after administration of rFVIIa.
The meta-analysis of case series showed that, in a mean of 73% patients, rFVIIa achieved at least a reduction of bleeding and that the probability of survival is increased in patients responding to rFVIIa. rFVIIa was not associated with an increased risk of thromboembolism compared with placebo.
PMCID: PMC2374636  PMID: 18279513
15.  Intrapulmonary administration of recombinant activated factor VII in diffuse alveolar haemorrhage: a report of two case stories 
Cases Journal  2008;1:150.
Diffuse alveolar haemorrhage (DAH) is a serious pulmonary complication characterised by a high mortality rate and the absence of specific treatment. The intrapulmonary administration of activated recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) in DAH was recently published in six patients by Heslet et al with an efficient hemostatic effect. We describe two cases of DAH treated with intrapulmonary rFVIIa.
Two cases of DAH were admitted to the ICU after presenting abrupt desaturation, tachypnea, cough and haemoptysis, requiring orotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation. The diagnosis was achieved by the bloody return during the bronchoalveolar lavage, during the procedure rFVIIa (50 μg/Kg in 50 ml of isotonic saline) was administered via the bronchoscope.
Immediate cessation of bleeding was observed. Prior to intrapulmonary administration of rFVIIa, the FiO2 was 1, which was reduced to 0.4 24 hours later. Following the procedure, the haemostatic effect made blood transfusion superfluous. No thrombotic complications associated with administration of the drug were observed. After the intervention both cases progressed fast and was discharged from the ICU with no further episodes of bleeding.
1. Local intrabronchial deposition of DAH with rFVIIa has been shown to be effective in controlling life-threatening DAH. 2. In the case described above, no thrombotic complications were observed following the intrapulmonary administration of rFVIIa.
PMCID: PMC2551590  PMID: 18789132
16.  Recombinant activated factor VII as an adjunctive therapy for bleeding control in severe trauma patients with coagulopathy: subgroup analysis from two randomized trials 
Critical Care  2006;10(6):R178.
We conducted a post-hoc analysis on the effect of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) on coagulopathic patients from two randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials of rFVIIa as an adjunctive therapy for bleeding in patients with severe trauma.
Blunt and penetrating trauma patients were randomly assigned to rFVIIa (200 + 100 + 100 μg/kg) at 0, 1, and 3 hours after transfusion of 8 units of red blood cells (RBCs) or to placebo. Subjects were monitored for 48 hours post-dosing and followed for 30 days. Coagulopathy was retrospectively defined as transfusion of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) (>1 unit of FFP per 4 units of RBCs), FFP in addition to whole blood, and transfusion of platelets and/or cryoprecipitate.
Sixty rFVIIa-treated and 76 placebo subjects were retrospectively identified as being coagulopathic. No significant differences were noted in baseline characteristics. The rFVIIa-treated coagulopathic subgroup consumed significantly less blood product: RBC transfusion decreased by 2.6 units for the whole study population (P = 0.02) and by 3.5 units among patients surviving more than 48 hours (P < 0.001). Transfusion of FFP (1,400 versus 660 ml, P < 0.01), platelet (300 versus 100 ml, P = 0.01), and massive transfusions (29% versus 6%, P < 0.01) also dropped significantly. rFVIIa reduced multi-organ failure and/or acute respiratory distress syndrome in the coagulopathic patients (3% versus 20%, P = 0.004), whereas thromboembolic events were equally present in both groups (3% versus 4%, P = 1.00).
Coagulopathic trauma patients appear to derive particular benefit from early adjunctive rFVIIa therapy.
PMCID: PMC1794494  PMID: 17184516
17.  Bio-distribution of pharmacologically administered recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) 
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.
PMCID: PMC2849270  PMID: 19943873
bio-distribution; endothelial cell protein C receptor; hemophilia; prophylaxis; rFVIIa; tissue factor
18.  Is recombinant activated factor VII effective in the treatment of excessive bleeding after paediatric cardiac surgery? 
A best evidence topic in paediatric cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was whether recombinant activated factor VII was effective for the treatment of excessive bleeding after paediatric cardiac surgery. Altogether 150 papers were found using the reported search; 13 papers were identified that provided the best evidence to answer the question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these studies were tabulated. A total of 311 children experienced excessive bleeding following cardiac surgery that was refractory to the conventional methods of achieving haemostasis. One hundred and ninety-two patients received the rFVIIa while 116 were in control arm from five studies. The primary end-point was on chest tube drainage, the plasma prothrombin time, the activated partial thromboplastin time after the administration of rFVIIa and the secondary end-point was reduction of blood products transfusion. Thrombosis was a complication in 8 patients (4.2%); three deaths (1.6%) but not attributable to thromboembolic events following the use of rFVIIa. Most of the studies failed to clearly state the doses but the extracted doses ranged between 30 and 180 µg/kg/dose, the interval between doses ranged between 15 and 120 min with a maximum of four doses. However, most of the patients had 180 µg/kg/dose with interval between dose of 2 h and maximum of two doses with dosage moderated with respect to weight, prior coagulopathy and responsiveness. There were two randomized studies with good sample size. One showed no significant differences in the secondary end points between the two arms and noted no adverse complications. However, the rFVIIa was used prophylactically. The other observed that there were no increase in thromboembolic events rather rFVIIa was effective in decreasing excessive bleeding that may complicate cardiac surgery in children. In conclusion, the studies were in support of the notion that the use of rFVIIa was effective in decreasing excessive bleeding which may complicate paediatric cardiac surgery, and care should be exercised when using it in the children on ECMO circuit.
PMCID: PMC3445385  PMID: 22811512
Recombinant activated factor VII; Excessive bleeding; Paediatric cardiac surgery
19.  Recombinant factor VIIa for uncontrollable bleeding in patients with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: report on 15 cases and literature review 
Critical Care  2013;17(2):R55.
Bleeding is the most frequent complication in patients receiving venoarterial or venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has been used in these patients with conflicting results. We describe our experience with rFVIIa for refractory bleeding in this setting and review the cases reported in the literature.
Clinical characteristics, demographics, bleeding, thrombotic complications, mortality, and rFVIIa administration were retrospectively collected for analysis from the electronic charts of the 15 patients in our intensive care unit who received rFVIIa while being given ECMO from January 2006 to March 2011.
Fifteen patients received rFVIIa for persistent bleeding under venoarterial (n = 11) or venovenous (n = 4) ECMO. Bleeding dramatically decreased in 14 patients, without a major thrombotic event, except in one patient in whom a major stroke could not be ruled out. Two circuits were changed within the 48 hours after rFVIIa administration for clots in the membrane and decreased oxygenation but without massive clotting. The mortality rate was 60%.
rFVIIa use for intractable hemorrhaging in patients receiving ECMO controlled bleeding, without major thrombotic events, and with 60% dying. Hence, its use warrants discussion, and clinicians should be aware of the possibility of potentially life-threatening systemic thrombosis, emboli, or circuit clotting. Whether rFVIIa can save the lives of such patients remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC4057417  PMID: 23531278
20.  The Australian and New Zealand Haemostasis Registry: ten years of data on off-licence use of recombinant activated factor VII 
Blood Transfusion  2015;13(1):86-99.
Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has been widely used as an off-licence pan-haemostatic agent in patients with critical bleeding. However, outside the trauma setting, there is relatively little high quality evidence on the risks and benefits of this agent. The Haemostasis Registry was established to investigate the extent of use, dosing, safety and outcomes of patients after off-licence rFVIIa treatment of critical bleeding.
Materials and methods
The Registry recruited non-haemophiliac patients treated with rFVIIa from 2000–2009 (inclusive) in Australia and New Zealand. Detailed information was gathered on patients’ demographics, context of bleeding, rFVIIa administration, laboratory results, blood component and other therapies, and outcomes. Outcome measures included subjectively assessed effect of rFVIIa on bleeding (response), adverse events (thromboembolic and other) and 28-day mortality.
The registry included 3,446 cases in 3,322 patients (median [IQR] age 56 [33–70] years, 65% (n=2,147) male). Clinical indications included cardiac surgery (45%), other surgery (18%), trauma (13%), medical bleeding (6%), liver disease (6%), and obstetric haemorrhage (5%). The median [IQR] dose was 91 [72–103] μg/kg and 77% received a single dose. Reduction or cessation of bleeding was reported in 74% and 28-day survival was 71% but outcomes varied depending on clinical context. pH strongly correlated with outcome measures; 81% of patients with pH <7.1 died. Approximately 11% of patients had thromboembolic adverse events. In multivariate analysis, pH prior to administration and bleeding context were independently associated with reported response to rFVIIa and 28-day mortality.
The Haemostasis Registry is the largest dataset of its kind and provides observational data on the off-licence use of rFVIIa over a 10-year period. It has been an invaluable resource for rigorously tracking adverse events and helping to inform clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4317095  PMID: 24960661
Haemostasis Registry; rFVIIa; NovoSeven®; critical bleeding; haemostasis
21.  Recommendations on the use of recombinant activated factor VII as an adjunctive treatment for massive bleeding – a European perspective 
Critical Care  2006;10(4):R120.
Our aim was to develop consensus guidelines for use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in massive hemorrhage.
A guidelines committee derived the recommendations using clinical trial and case series data identified through searches of available databases. Guidelines were graded on a scale of A to E (with A being the highest) according to the strength of evidence available. Consensus was sought among the committee members for each recommendation.
A recommendation for the use of rFVIIa in blunt trauma was made (grade B). rFVIIa might also be beneficial in post-partum hemorrhage (grade E), uncontrolled bleeding in surgical patients (grade E), and bleeding after cardiac surgery (grade D). rFVIIa could not be recommended for use in the following: in penetrating trauma (grade B); prophylactically in elective surgery (grade A) or liver surgery (grade B); or in bleeding episodes in patients with Child–Pugh A cirrhosis (grade B). Efficacy of rFVIIa was considered uncertain in bleeding episodes in patients with Child–Pugh B and C cirrhosis (grade C). Monitoring of rFVIIa efficacy should be performed visually and by assessment of transfusion requirements (grade E), while thromboembolic adverse events are a cause for concern. rFVIIa should not be administered to patients considered unsalvageable by the treating medical team.
There is a rationale for using rFVIIa to treat massive bleeding in certain indications, but only adjunctively to the surgical control of bleeding once conventional therapies have failed. Lack of data from randomized, controlled clinical trials, and possible publication bias of the case series data, limits the strength of the recommendations that can be made.
PMCID: PMC1750973  PMID: 16919168
22.  Pharmacokinetics of recombinant activated factor VII in trauma patients with severe bleeding 
Critical Care  2006;10(4):R104.
Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has been used as adjunctive therapy in trauma patients with severe bleeding. However, its pharmacokinetics profile remains unknown.
In two placebo-controlled studies in patients with blunt and penetrating trauma, the pharmacokinetics of rFVIIa given at an initial dose of 200 μ after transfusion of eight red blood cell units, followed by additional doses of 100 μ, one and three hours later, have been studied, based on the FVII coagulant activity assay. Both non-compartment and population pharmacokinetic analyses were performed. A two-compartment, population pharmacokinetic model was used to estimate a population profile for the rFVIIa dosing regimen. Data are population means (percent coefficient of variation (CV)).
Based on the two-compartment population model, the estimated pharmacokinetic parameters were: clearance 40 (30% CV); central volume of distribution 89 (32% CV); inter-compartmental clearance 24; and peripheral compartment volume 31 Baseline FVII coagulant activity was estimated at 0.29 (39% CV), initial half-life was 0.6 (34% CV) hours, and terminal half-life 2.4 (50% CV) hours. High intra- and inter-patient variability was noted in volume of distribution and clearance, which was in part correlated with the transfusion requirements as the single significant covariate. The non-compartmental analysis led to almost identical estimates of key parameters.
A high intra- and inter-patient variability was noted in the volume of distribution and clearance of rFVIIa in trauma patients with severe bleeding, mainly related with the transfusion requirements and thus blood loss and/or bleeding rate.
PMCID: PMC1750999  PMID: 16859505
23.  Thromboembolic risks of recombinant factor VIIa Use in warfarin-associated intracranial hemorrhage: a case–control study 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:158.
Recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) may be used for rapid hemostasis in life-threatening hemorrhage. In warfarin-associated intracerebral hemorrhage (wICH), FVIIa use is controversial and may carry significant thromboembolic risks. We compared incidence of baseline thromboembolic risk factors and thromboembolism rates in wICH patients treated with additional rFVIIa to those treated with standard therapy of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and vitamin K alone.
We identified 45 consecutive wICH patients treated with additional rFVIIa over 5-year period, and 34 consecutive wICH patients treated with standard therapy alone as comparison group. We compared the incidence of post-hemorrhage cardiac and extra-cardiac thromboembolic complications between two treatment groups, and used logistic regression to adjust for significant confounders such as baseline thromboembolic risk factors. We performed secondary analysis comparing the quantity of FFP transfused between two treatment cohorts.
Both rFVIIa-treated and standard therapy-treated wICH patients had a high prevalence of pre-existing thromboembolic diseases including atrial fibrillation (73% vs 68%), deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) (22% vs 18%), coronary artery disease (CAD) (38% vs 32%), and abnormal electrocardiogram (EKG) (78% vs 85%). Troponin elevation following wICH was prevalent in both groups (47% vs 41%). Clinically significant myocardial infarction (MI), defined as troponin > 1.0 ng/dL, occurred in 13% of rFVIIa-treated and 6% of standard therapy-treated patients (p=0.52). Past history of CAD (p=0.0061) and baseline abnormal EKG (p=0.02) were independently associated with clinically significant MI following wICH while rFVIIa use was not. The incidences of DVT/PE (2% vs 9%; p=0.18) and ischemic stroke (2% vs 0%; p=0.38) were similar between two treatment groups. Recombinant FVIIa-treated patients had lower mean INR at 3 (p=0.0001) and 6 hours (p<0.0001) and received fewer units of FFP transfusion (3 vs 5; p=0.003).
Pre-existing thromboembolic risk factors as well as post-hemorrhage troponin elevation are prevalent in wICH patients. Clinically significant MI occurs in up to 13% of wICH patients. rFVIIa use was not associated with increased incidence of clinically significant MI or other venous or arterial thromboembolic events in this wICH cohort.
PMCID: PMC3538560  PMID: 23241423
Activated recombinant factor VII; Intracerebral hemorrhage; Thromboembolism; Warfarin
24.  Successful pulmonary administration of activated recombinant factor VII in diffuse alveolar hemorrhage 
Critical Care  2006;10(6):R177.
Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) is a serious pulmonary complication seen in patients with autoimmune disorders and patients treated with chemotherapy or after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The clinical management of DAH is complex and the condition has a high mortality rate. Tissue factor is expressed in the lung alveoli during inflammation and therefore pulmonary administration of human recombinant activated factor VIIa (rFVIIa) could be a rational treatment option.
Six patients with acute, bronchoscopically confirmed DAH from a single intensive care unit university hospital center were included in the study of acute DAH in critically ill patients. The patients were treated with intrapulmonary administration of 50 μg/kg rFVIIa in 50 ml of sodium chloride by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) with 25 ml in each of the main bronchi, which was repeated after 24 hours in case of treatment failure.
An excellent response, defined as complete and sustained hemostasis after a single dose of rFVIIa, was seen in three patients. A good response, meaning that sustained hemostasis was achieved by a repeated rFVIIa administration, was seen in the remaining three patients. In one of these patients, the BAL treatment was repeated twice; in another patient, the second dose of rFVIIa was administered by nebulizer after extubation after the initial BAL. The hemostatic effect was statistically significant (p = 0.031). The oxygenation capacity, as reflected by the PaO2/FiO2 (arterial oxygen pressure/inspiratory fractional oxygen content) ratio, increased significantly (p = 0.024) in all six patients following the local rFVIIa therapy.
Symptomatic therapy of DAH after intrapulmonary administration of one or more doses of rFVIIa was found to have a good to excellent hemostatic effect in six consecutive patients with DAH. The intrapulmonary administration of rFVIIa seemed to have a high benefit-to-risk ratio. Larger series should confirm the safety of this approach.
PMCID: PMC1794493  PMID: 17184515
25.  Recombinant Factor VIIa: Hemostatic Adjunct in the Coagulopathic Burn Patient 
Eplasty  2009;9:e27.
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.
PMCID: PMC2705287  PMID: 19649159

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