Bleeding in Cardiac Surgery: the use of Aprotinin does not affect survival

Domenico Pagano, Neil Howell, Nick Freemantle, D Cunningham, Robert Bonser, Timothy Graham, J Mascaro, SJ Rooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The antifibrinolytic drug aprotinin has been the most widely used agent to reduce bleeding and its complications in cardiac surgery. Several randomized trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated it to be effective and safe. However, 2 recent reports from a single database have implicated the use of aprotinin as a risk for postoperative complications and reduced long-term survival. Methods: In this single-institution observational study involving 7836 consecutive patients (1998-2006), we assessed the safety of using aprotinin in risk reduction strategy for postoperative bleeding. Results: Aprotinin was used in 44% of patients. Multivariate analysis identified aprotinin use in risk reduction for reoperation for bleeding ( odds ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.36-0.72; P = .001) and need for blood transfusion postoperatively ( odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.57-0.79; P = .0002). The use of aprotinin did not affect in-hospital mortality ( odds ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.71-1.49; P= 0.73), intermediate-term survival ( median follow-up, 3.4 years; range, 0-8.9 years; hazard ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.93-1.28; P = .30), incidence of postoperative hemodialysis ( odds ratio, 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-1.85; P = .49), and incidence of postoperative renal dysfunction ( odds ratio, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.59-1.03; P = .07). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that aprotinin is effective in reducing bleeding after cardiac surgery, is safe, and does not affect short- or medium-term survival.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-502
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


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