Efficacy and safety of recombinant activated factor VII in major surgical procedures: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Marco Ranucci, Giuseppe Isgrò, Giorgio Soro, Daniela Conti, Barbara De Toffol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To investigate the efficacy and safety of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) treatment in patients undergoing major surgical procedures. Data Sources: Relevant studies were searched in BioMed-Central, CENTRAL, PubMed, and PubMed Central. Study Selection: Only randomized controlled trials on humans undergoing major surgery were included. Efficacy was determined as the rate of patients receiving allogeneic packed red blood cells; safety was assessed in terms of thromboembolic complications and mortality rate. Data Extraction: We followed the Cochrane Collaboration method for data extraction and internal validity procedures, as well as the Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses statement. Data Synthesis: Seven randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. Treatment with rFVIIa is associated with a reduced risk of receiving allogeneic packed red blood cells (odds ratio, 0.29; 95% confidence interval, 0.10-0.80). In a subgroup analysis, only patients receiving at least 50 μg/kg of rFVIIa had a significant benefit (odds ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.78). No differences in thromboembolic complications and mortality rates were observed. Conclusions: Treatment with rFVIIa is effective in reducing the rate of patients undergoing transfusion with allogeneic packed red blood cells. However, the cost-benefit ratio is favorable only in patients who need a huge number of packed red blood cell units. No safety concerns arise from the present study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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