Natural and synthetic antifibrinolytics in adult cardiac surgery: efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency.

Epsilon-aminocaproic acid and tranexamic acid, two synthetic antifibrinolytics, and aprotinin, an antifibrinolytic derived from bovine lung, are used to reduce excessive bleeding and transfusion of homologous blood products (HBP) after cardiac surgery. This review analyzes the studies on the utilization of antifibrinolytics in adult cardiac surgery according to the epidemiological concepts of efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency. A majority of published studies confirm the efficacy of antifibrinolytics administered prophylactically to reduce postoperative bleeding and transfusion of HBP. More studies are needed, however, to compare antifibrinolytics and determine if any one is superior to the others. Despite their demonstrated efficacy, antifibrinolytics are only one of the options available to diminish the use of HBP. Other blood-saving techniques, surgical expertise, temperature during cardiopulmonary bypass and respect of established transfusion guidelines may modify the effectiveness of antifibrinolytics to the point where antifibrinolytics may not be necessary. At this time, insufficient data have been published to perform a cost vs benefit analysis of the use of antifibrinolytics. This complex analysis takes into account not only direct costs (cost of the drug and of blood products), but also the ensuing effects of treatment such as: length of stay in the operating room, in the intensive care unit and in the hospital; need for surgical re-exploration; treatment of transfusion or drug-related complications, etc. In particular, the risk of thrombotic complications associated with antifibrinolytics is the subject of an ongoing, unresolved controversy.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
AuthorsJ F Hardy, S Bélisle
JournalCanadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthésie (Can J Anaesth) Vol. 41 Issue 11 Pg. 1104-12 (Nov 1994) ISSN: 0832-610X [Print] CANADA
PMID7530172 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Tranexamic Acid
  • Aprotinin
  • Aminocaproic Acid
  • Adult
  • Aminocaproic Acid (economics, therapeutic use)
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents (economics, therapeutic use)
  • Aprotinin (economics, therapeutic use)
  • Blood Loss, Surgical (prevention & control)
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures (economics)
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass (methods)
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Drug Utilization
  • Humans
  • Tranexamic Acid (economics, therapeutic use)

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