"Our study is important because it shows that if aprotinin is used selectively and a drug/lab test interaction is avoided, the drug does not hurt patients' hearts or brains while reducing their need for blood transfusions and reoperations for bleeding," said C. Michael White, Pharm.D., of Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Conn., one of the study authors.
The study was prompted by recent reports suggesting an increased risk of complications—including heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems—in patients who received aprotinin to reduce bleeding during heart bypass or valve replacement surgery. In response, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert limiting the use of aprotinin during heart surgery.
Dr. White and colleagues performed a similar study, but limited to patients treated at Hartford Hospital, where aprotinin was used differently than at most other hospitals. "We thought our results might be different than what most hospitals had seen, because at Hartford Hospital, we reserved drug therapy to patients who would most benefit and we avoided a drug/laboratory test interaction that could have resulted in an increased risk of blood clots," according to Dr. White.
The analysis included 3,348 patients undergoing bypass or valve replacement surgery at Hartford Hospital from 2000 through 2005. In contrast to the previous study, there was no increase in heart attack risk among patients receiving aprotinin, while the risk of stroke was 35 percent lower.
As in the previous study, patients receiving aprotinin had an increased risk of kidney dysfunction after surgery. It was not clear whether the kidney problems were permanent or temporary.
One reason for the conflicting results is that Hartford Hospital limited the use of aprotinin to patients undergoing particularly complex operations (and to patients like Jehovah's Witnesses, who refuse blood transfusions).
Another reason was that the Hartford Hospital doctors avoided a specific lab/drug test interaction that can lead to inadequate anti-clotting treatment. "During bypass or heart valve surgery, patients receive a drug called heparin to prevent blood clot formation," Dr. White explained. "Surgery teams know how much to give because they measure the activated clotting time (ACT). Previous studies have found that aprotinin makes the ACT rise erroneously if celite-ACTs are used. If you are using celite-ACTs to guide heparin dosing in a patient treated with aprotinin, you will think you gave enough heparin when in fact you didn't." This interaction may explain some of the increased risks with aprotinin reported in previous studies.
However, Dr White did not want to dismiss the importance of the previous studies showing harm. "Those studies were important, because they clearly showed that the way aprotinin was used around the world, by and large, was hurting patients more than helping them," said Dr. White. "By using aprotinin selectively and avoiding the celite-ACT test, surgical teams can reduce the risk of bleeding problems during surgery without increasing the risks of heart attack or stroke."
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy