Heparin reversal in off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery: complete, partial, or no reversal?

G Gatti, P Pugliese
Cardiovascular Surgery: Official Journal of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery 2002, 10 (3): 245-50
Several clinical studies have reported that avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass reduces postoperative bleeding. The purpose of this study is to verify that protamine during off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery produces significant reduction of postoperative bleeding. Sixty consecutive patients undergoing off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery were prospectively randomized in three groups: Group A received 1 mg of protamine every 100 IU of heparin, Group B 0.5 mg of protamine every 100 IU of heparin, and Group C none. The three groups were analyzed for differences in preoperative cardiac function, pre-, intra-, and postoperative coagulation profile, intraoperative variables, and postoperative bleeding. In the three study groups, no statistically significant difference was found in preoperative cardiac function, pre- and intraoperative coagulation profile, and prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, platelet count in the first postoperative day. In Group A, total postoperative bleeding, use of packed red blood cells, and mild pericardial effusion prevalence at discharge were significantly lower only when compared to Group C, but they were not significantly different when compared to Group B. In off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, heparin should be reverted with protamine, otherwise the postoperative bleeding risk might increase. Partial heparin reversal might not increase postoperative bleeding risk, but it may reduce dose-dependent protamine adverse effects.

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