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BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 102  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 785 - 792

Bleeding management with fibrinogen concentrate targeting a high-normal plasma fibrinogen level: a pilot study

N Rahe Meyer, M Pichlmaier, A Haverich, C Solomon, M Winterhalter, S Piepenbrock and K. A. Tanaka    

Abstract: Background

Bleeding diathesis after aortic valve operation and ascending aorta replacement (AV–AA) is managed with fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and platelet concentrates. The aim was to compare haemostatic effects of conventional transfusion management and FIBTEM (thromboelastometry test)-guided fibrinogen concentrate administration.

Methods

A blood products transfusion algorithm was developed using retrospective data from 42 elective patients (Group A). Two units of platelet concentrate were transfused after cardiopulmonary bypass, followed by 4 u of FFP if bleeding persisted, if platelet count was ≤100x103 µl–1 when removing the aortic clamp, and vice versa if platelet count was >100x103 µl–1. The trigger for each therapy step was ≥60 g blood absorbed from the mediastinal wound area by dry swabs in 5 min. Assignment to two prospective groups was neither randomized nor blinded; Group B (n=5) was treated according to the algorithm, Group C (n=10) received fibrinogen concentrate (Haemocomplettan® P/Riastap, CSL Behring, Marburg, Germany) before the algorithm-based therapy.

Results

A mean of 5.7 (0.7) g fibrinogen concentrate decreased blood loss to below the transfusion trigger level in all Group C patients. Group C had reduced transfusion [mean 0.7 (range 0–4) u vs 8.5 (5.3) in Group A and 8.2 (2.3) in Group B] and reduced postoperative bleeding [366 (199) ml vs 793 (560) in Group A and 716 (219) in Group B].

Conclusions

In this pilot study, FIBTEM-guided fibrinogen concentrate administration was associated with reduced transfusion requirements and 24 h postoperative bleeding in patients undergoing AV–AA.

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