Title

Bleeding, Thrombosis, and Transfusion With Two Heparin Anticoagulation Protocols in Venoarterial ECMO Patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

5-1-2019

Journal

Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia

Volume

33

Issue

5

DOI

10.1053/j.jvca.2018.07.045

Keywords

ACT; aPTT; bleeding; clotting; ECMO; shock; thrombosis

Abstract

Objective: To compare the incidence of bleeding and thrombosis between adult venoarterial (VA) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) patients managed with an activated clotting time (ACT)-guided heparin anticoagulation protocol and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) protocol. Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Tertiary care, academic medical center. Participants: Consecutive adult VA ECMO patients during a 6-year period. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Demographic, medical, transfusion, and ECMO data were collected for all patients. Primary study outcomes were bleeding and thrombosis. Secondary outcomes were stroke and in-hospital mortality. One hundred twenty-one patients were included in the cohort. Fifty patients had ACT monitoring, and 71 had aPTT monitoring. There was no difference in the incidence of bleeding or thrombosis between the 2 groups (78.0% v 67.6% for bleeding [p = 0.21] and 16.0% v 19.7% for thrombosis [p = 1.0]). After adjusting for age and total ECMO days, patients managed with ACT received approximately 30% more red blood cell, fresh frozen plasma, and platelet transfusion (all p < 0.05). Conclusion: There is no apparent difference in the incidence rate of bleeding or thrombosis between VA ECMO patients managed with an ACT- or aPTT-guided heparin anticoagulation protocol. Patients managed with an ACT-guided protocol received more blood transfusion, which could reflect greater total bleeding. Future randomized controlled trials would help to elucidate optimal anticoagulation strategies for VA ECMO patients.

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