Topical application of recombinant activated factor VII during cesarean delivery for placenta previa.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

During cesarean delivery in patients with placenta previa, hemorrhaging after removal of the placenta is often challenging. In this condition, the extraordinarily high concentration of tissue factor at the placenta site may constitute a principle of treatment as it activates coagulation very effectively. The presumption, however, is that tissue factor is bound to activated factor VII.

OBJECTIVE

We hypothesized that topical application of recombinant activated factor VII at the placenta site reduces bleeding without affecting intravascular coagulation.

STUDY DESIGN

We included 5 cases with planned cesarean delivery for placenta previa. After removal of the placenta, the surgeon applied a swab soaked in recombinant activated factor VII containing saline (1 mg in 246 mL) to the placenta site for 2 minutes; this treatment was repeated once if the bleeding did not decrease sufficiently. We documented the treatment on video recordings and measured blood loss. Furthermore, we determined hemoglobin concentration, platelet count, international normalized ratio, activated partial thrombin time, fibrinogen (functional), factor VII:clot, and thrombin generation in peripheral blood prior to and 15 minutes after removal of the placenta. We also tested these blood coagulation variables in 5 women with cesarean delivery planned for other reasons. Mann-Whitney test was used for unpaired data.

RESULTS

In all 5 cases, the uterotomy was closed under practically dry conditions and the median blood loss was 490 (range 300-800) mL. There were no adverse effects of recombinant activated factor VII and we did not measure factor VII to enter the circulation. Neither did we observe changes in thrombin generation, fibrinogen, activated partial thrombin time, international normalized ratio, and platelet count in the peripheral circulation (all P values >.20).

CONCLUSION

This study indicates that in patients with placenta previa, topical recombinant activated factor VII may diminish bleeding from the placenta site without initiation of systemic coagulation.

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