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Argatroban for anticoagulation during cardiac surgery

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Background: The aim of this study was to report our experience and review the published data on argatroban administration during adult cardiac surgery. Methods: The information on all reported cases of argatroban use in adults, during cardiac surgery was reviewed, including that of the patient described here. This analysis focused on patient characteristics, type of surgery, argatroban dosing schedule, monitoring of anticoagulation and outcomes. Results: Twenty-one cases have been reported. Fifteen patients underwent off-pump surgical procedures with the argatroban dose adjusted to maintain an activated clotting time (ACT) range between 200 and 300 s. Three intraoperative thrombi occurred in two patients when the ACT was <280 s. None had coagulopathy. Six cases reported the use of argatroban during on-pump cardiac surgery dosed to keep the ACT >400 s. Intraoperative thrombotic complications were not reported in this group; however, one clot in the pump was noted after the procedure when the ACT was between 300 and 350 s. All six cases required larger volumes of perioperative blood products and three had severe coagulopathy. Of the 21 cases, seven had an indication for continued anticoagulation following surgery. Four cases did not report further use of argatroban after surgery. Three patients received argatroban after surgery without complications. Recommendations for how to use argatroban during cardiac surgery are proposed. Conclusions: Argatroban, with ACT monitoring, might be safely used for anticoagulation during cardiac surgery.
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Keywords: argatroban; cardiopulmonary bypass; cardiovascular surgical procedures

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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