Perioperative monitoring of primary and secondary hemostasis in coronary artery bypass grafting

Hans-Jörg Hertfelder, Monika Bös, Dagmar Weber, Kai Winkler, Peter Hanfland, Claus J Preusse
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis 2005, 31 (4): 426-40
On-pump cardiac surgery is accompanied by complex alterations of hemostasis. The excessive postoperative bleeding has been attributed to acquired platelet dysfunction, impaired plasmatic coagulation, and increased fibrinolysis. The characterization of the hemostatic defects responsible for bleeding is crucial for specific treatment and optimal clinical management of the patient. For rapid determination of platelet-dependent primary hemostatic capacity (PHC), the Platelet Function Analyzer PFA-100 system is available. To evaluate the PFA performance in perioperative monitoring, a study was performed in 49 patients selected for low bleeding risk undergoing selective primary coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). We compared PHC with Simplate bleeding time (BT) and platelet aggregometry. Furthermore, we analyzed global hemostasis by thromboelastography (TEG) and plasmatic coagulation by standard clotting tests prothrombin time (PT, Quick), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), thrombin time (TT) and clotting factors and fibrinolysis by batroxobin (reptilase) time (RT). In all patients BT was postoperatively increased by 1.5- to 2-fold irrespective of perioperative complications and decreased to mildly prolonged values on the first postoperative day (1st day). In patients without complications, PHC in both collagen-adenosine diphosphate closure time (CADP-CT: 83 seconds preop, 78 seconds postop, and 74 seconds 1st day) and collagen-epinephrine closure time (CEPI-CT: 98 seconds preop, 95 seconds postop, 85 seconds 1st day) remained nearly stable. Apart from a patient with postoperative moderate thrombocytopenia, in bleeding patients no other significant defect of postoperative platelet hemostatic capacity was observed. However, on 1st day, the PHC of those patients was significantly reduced compared with non-bleeding patients. In patients with postoperative myocardial ischemia, increased PHC was identified by significantly shorter postoperative CADP-CT (66 seconds vs. 83 seconds) than in uncomplicated patients. By aggregometry, partial platelet dysfunction was observed in some patients without correlation to bleeding complications. In seven of 9 patients the postoperative bleeding complication was attributed to prolonged heparin anticoagulation and/or mildly enhanced fibrinogenolysis/fibrinolysis by TEG and standard plasmatic coagulation tests (TEG: k time 18 minutes vs. 8 minutes; aPTT: 47 seconds vs. 32 seconds; TT: 18.0 seconds vs. 12.3 seconds) and (RT: 19.5 seconds vs. 17.7 seconds). The impairment of PHC, platelet aggregation, and clotting factors observed on the 1st day in bleeding and in intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) patients are most likely secondary effects, for example, loss of active platelets and clotting factors, to the primary postoperative bleeding or implantation of the IABP. In conclusion, our data indicate that in standard CABG procedures highly variable alterations of the hemostatic system occur after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) even in patients with assumed low operative risks. For identification of post-CPB bleeding complications, thromboelastography, aPTT, and TT and heparin and batroxobin (reptilase) time as fibrinolysis-sensitive assays are useful. Platelet function appears to be rapidly restored in uncomplicated CABG. PHC determination by PFA-100 demonstrates a high specificity for adequate platelet function and, therefore, could be beneficial in improved transfusion of platelet concentrates. PHC testing by PFA-100 may help identify postoperative platelet hyper-reactivity associated with myocardial lesion.

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