A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of epsilon-aminocaproic acid for reducing blood loss in coronary artery bypass grafting surgery.
BACKGROUND: Epsilon-aminocaproic acid is a plasmin inhibitor that potentially reduces perioperative bleeding when administered prophylactically to cardiac surgery patients. To evaluate the efficacy of epsilon-aminocaproic acid, a prospective placebo-controlled trial was conducted in patients undergoing primary coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. STUDY DESIGN: One hundred patients were randomly assigned to receive either epsilon-aminocaproic acid (100 mg/kg before skin incision followed by 1 g/hour continuous infusion until chest closure, 10 g in cardiopulmonary bypass circuit) or placebo, and the efficacy of epsilon-aminocaproic acid was evaluated by the reduction in postoperative thoracic-drainage volume and in donor-blood transfusion up to postoperative day 12. RESULTS: Postoperative thoracic-drainage volume was significantly lower in the epsilon-aminocaproic acid group compared with the placebo group (epsilon-aminocaproic acid, 649 +/- 261 mL; versus placebo, 940 +/- 626 mL; p=0.003). There were no significant differences between the epsilon-aminocaproic acid and placebo groups in the percentage of patients requiring donor red blood cell transfusions (epsilon-aminocaproic acid, 24%; versus placebo, 18%; p=0.62) or in the number of units of donor red blood cells transfused (epsilon-aminocaproic acid, 2.2 +/- 0.8 U; versus placebo, 1.9 +/- 0.8 U; p=0.29). Epsilon-aminocaproic acid did not reduce the risk of donor red blood cell transfusions compared with placebo (odds ratio: 1.2, 95% confidence interval; 0.4 to 3.2, p=0.63). CONCLUSIONS: Prophylactic administration of epsilon-aminocaproic acid reduces postoperative thoracic-drainage volume by 30%, but it may not be potent enough to reduce the requirement and the risk for donor blood transfusion in cardiac surgery patients. This information is useful for deciding on a therapy for hemostasis in cardiac surgery.
Kikura, M; Levy, JH; Tanaka, KA; Ramsay, JG
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