Background: The antifibrinolytic agent aprotinin is used to limit blood loss in cardiac surgery. In a recently performed multicentre observational study, the use of aprotinin was dose-dependently associated with a higher risk of renal failure and cardiovascular events.
Objective: Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of low-dose aprotinin (2 million kallikrein-inhibitor units) on safety variables in a large single-centre investigation in patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Methods: Clinical outcome variables such as renal failure, myocardial infarction, gastrointestinal failure, neurological complications and in-hospital mortality were assessed in 2436 CABG surgery patients, whereof 1162 patients received low-dose aprotinin perioperatively and 1274 patients did not receive aprotinin. Statistical analysis was performed using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: In patients receiving aprotinin, the odds ratios of experiencing one of the aforementioned adverse events were not significantly different from the patients who did not receive aprotinin (p = 0.136-0.288). Moreover, the need for rethoracotomy did not differ between the two groups (p = 0.129). However, the use of low-dose aprotinin reduced the risk of peri-and postoperative use of packed red blood cells by 39% and was associated with a mean reduction in postoperative blood loss of 201 mL compared with patients who did not receive aprotinin (p <0.001). Mean total blood loss in the aprotinin group and the control group was 875 mL (standard deviation [SD]: 757 mL) and 1105 mL (SD: 867 mL), respectively (p < 0.001). In a sub-analysis in 2049 patients undergoing their first cardiac surgery and undergoing CABG using the internal mammary artery, efficacy and safety data of aprotinin were similar to the results of the entire study cohort of 2436 patients.
Conclusions: Our data indicate that low-dose aprotinin efficiently reduces blood loss and does not adversely affect relevant safety variables in CABG surgery.
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