Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) as salvage treatment for intractable hemorrhage

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Thrombosis Journal






Background: Recently, there has been an increased use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) to promote hemostasis in various hemorrhagic conditions. The objective of this study was to determine the outcome of patients treated with rFVIIa who had intractable bleeding associated with cardiac surgery (CSP) or as a result of other causes (OBP). Methods: The medical records of 40 consecutive patients treated with rFVIIa were retrospectively reviewed for blood product use before and after treatment. In all patients, rFVIIa was given only after all other measures to stop bleeding had failed. The number of transfused units of red cells (R), platelets (P), fresh frozen plasma (F), and cryoprecipitate (C) were determined both before and after administration of rFVIIa, and the results compared. Mortality at 4 hours and 30 days was assessed. Patients dying within 4 hours of rFVIIa administration were not evaluable for response. Patient characteristics were also assessed as risk factors for mortality. Results: Twelve of 24 CSP survived for more than 4 hours. These 12 patients required an average of 17 units (U) of R, 18 U of P, 18 U of F and 15 U of C pre-treatment compared to an average of 6 U, 10 U, 9 U and 4 U of R, P, F and C respectively, post-treatment. These differences were statistically significant. For the OBP, 11 of 16 survived more than four hours. These II patients required an average of 10 U of R, 11 U of P, 14 U of F and 10 U of C pretreatment compared to an average of 1 U, 2 U, 2 U and 0 U of R, P, F, and C respectively, post-treatment. With the exception of C, there was a statistically significant decrease in blood product use following treatment with rFVIIa. Of the survivors in each group, 6 of 12 CSP and 2 of 11 OBP died between 3 and 30 days post-treatment from causes other than bleeding. Mortality at 30 days for CSP and OBP survivors was 50% and 18% respectively, whereas overall 30 day mortality was 75% for CSP and 44% for OBP. Conclusions: rFVIIa is effective in decreasing blood product use and promoting hemostasis in patients with intractable bleeding associated with cardiac surgery and a variety of other causes. © 2004 Aggarwal et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.