A multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of aprotinin for reducing blood loss and the requirement for donor-blood transfusion in patients undergoing repeat coronary artery bypass grafting

Journal Article

Background. Aprotinin is a serine protease inhibitor that reduces blood loss and transfusion requirements when administered prophylactically to cardiac surgical patients. To examine the safety and dose-related efficacy of aprotinin, a prospective, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in patients undergoing repeat coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Methods and Results: Two hundred eighty-seven patients were randomly assigned to receive either high-dose aprotinin, low-dose aprotinin, pump-prime-only aprotinin, or placebo. Drug efficacy was determined by the reduction in donor-blood transfusion up to postoperative day 12 and in postoperative thoracic-drainage volume. The percentage of patients requiring donor-red- blood-cell (RBC) transfusions in the high- and low-dose aprotinin groups was reduced compared with the pump-prime-only and placebo groups (high-dose aprotinin, 54%; low-dose aprotinin, 46%; pump-prime only, 72%; and placebo, 75%; overall P=.001). The number of units of donor RBCs transfused was significantly lower in the aprotinin-treated patients compared with placebo (high-dose aprotinin, 1.6±0.2 U; low-dose aprotinin, 1.6±0.3 U; pump- prime-only, 2.5±0.3 U; and placebo, 3.4±0.5 U; P=.0001). There was also a significant difference in total blood-product exposures among treatment groups (high-dose aprotinin, 2.2±0.4 U; low-dose aprotinin, 3.4±0.9 U; pump-prime-only, 5.1±0.9 U; placebo, 10.3±1.4 U). There were no differences among treatment groups for the incidence of perioperative myocardial infarction (MI). Conclusion. This study demonstrates that high- and low-dose aprotinin significantly reduces the requirement for donor blood transfusion in repeat CABG patients without increasing the risk for perioperative MI.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Levy, JH; Pifarre, R; Schaff, HV; Horrow, JC; Albus, R; Spiess, B; Rosengart, TK; Murray, J; Clark, RE; Smith, P; Nadel, A; Bonney, SL; Kleinfield, R

Published Date

  • 1995

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 92 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2236 - 2244

PubMed ID

  • 7554207

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-7322