Meta-analysis comparing the effectiveness and adverse outcomes of antifibrinolytic agents in cardiac surgery

Jeremiah R Brown, Nancy J O Birkmeyer, Gerald T O'Connor
Circulation 2007 June 5, 115 (22): 2801-13

BACKGROUND: Since the 1980s, antifibrinolytic therapies have assisted surgical teams in reducing the amount of blood loss. To date, however, serious questions remain regarding the safety and effectiveness of these agents.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We conducted a meta-analysis to compare aprotinin, epsilon-aminocaproic acid, and tranexamic acid with placebo and head to head on 8 clinical outcomes from 138 trials. Published randomized controlled trial data were collected from OVID/PubMed. Outcomes included total blood loss, transfusion of packed red blood cells, reexploration, mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, dialysis-dependent renal failure, and renal dysfunction (0.5-mg/dL increase in creatinine from baseline). All agents were effective in significantly reducing blood loss by 226 to 348 mL and the proportion of patients transfused with packed red blood cells over placebo. Only high-dose aprotinin reduced the rate of reexploration (relative risk, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.33 to 0.73). There were no significant risks or benefits for any agent for mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, or renal failure. However, high-dose aprotinin significantly increased the risk of renal dysfunction (relative risk, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.94), 12.9% versus 8.4%. Compared head to head, high-dose aprotinin demonstrated significant reduction in total blood loss over epsilon-aminocaproic acid (-184 mL; 95% CI, -256 to -112) and tranexamic acid (-195 mL; 95% CI, -286 to -105). There were no significant differences among any agent when compared head to head on other outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: All antifibrinolytic agents were effective in reducing blood loss and transfusion. There were no significant risks or benefits for mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction, or renal failure. However, high-dose aprotinin was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of renal dysfunction.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"