'High dose' aprotinin and heparin-coated circuits: Clinical efficacy and inflammatory response

A. Parolari, F. Alamanni, T. Gherli, S. Salis, R. Spirito, F. Foieni, F. Rossi, A. Bertera, P. Oddono, P. Biglioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heparin-coated cardiopulmonary bypass circuits reduce the inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass circuit, improve biocompatibility and may protect the postoperative hemostasic mechanisms in routine coronary bypass operations. 'High-dose' aprotinin reduces blood-loss, transfusion needs, and re-explorations as a result of bleeding, and may have an additional role in reducing the inflammatory response of the body to cardiopulmonary bypass circuit. It has not been established, however, if the addition of a heparin- coated circuit to the intraoperative administration of 'high dose' aprotinin further reduces the whole-body inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass circuit and improves the postoperative clinical course of the patients who are undergoing coronary surgery. Thirty patients undergoing primary elective coronary artery bypass grafting were studied. All the patients received, intraoperatively, the serine-protease inhibitor aprotinin according to the 'Hammersmith' protocol and full heparin dose. Patients were randomly allocated to be treated either with a circuit completely coated with surface- bound heparin (n = 15) or with an uncoated, but otherwise identical, circuit (n = 15). Differences in the clinical course of the two groups of patients, as well as differences in the behavior of hematological and inflammatory (interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein) factors before, during and after bypass, were analyzed. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of bleeding and transfusional requirements, the time spent on a ventilator, or in duration of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). In all patients, a significant increase in the total white blood cell count, neutrophils, serum IL-6 and C-reactive protein occurred in relation to cardiopulmonary bypass. This was not influenced by heparin precoating of the circuit. In addition, there was an increase in the monocyte count during follow-up, and there was a trend towards higher monocyte counts in the patients who were treated with heparin-coated circuits. These results suggest that the addition of a heparin-coated circuit to the intraoperative 'high- dose' aprotinin therapy probably had little influence on the clinical course and on the time-course of the inflammatory parameters of the adult patients undergoing primary coronary surgery with a full heparinization protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


  • Aprotinin
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Heparin coated circuits
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery


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