Changes in heparin dose response slope during cardiac surgery: possible result in inaccuracy in predicting heparin bolus dose requirement to achieve target ACT

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Abstract

Introduction:

The substantial interpatient variability in heparin requirement has led to the use of a heparin dose response (HDR) technique. The accuracy of Hepcon-based heparin administration in achieving a target activated clotting time (ACT) using an HDR slope remains controversial.

Methods:

We prospectively studied 86 adult patients scheduled for cardiac surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass. The total dose of calculated heparin required for patient and pump priming was administered simultaneously to achieve a target ACT of 450 s for HDR on the Hepcon HMS system. Blood samples were obtained after the induction of anesthesia, at 3 min after heparin administration and after the initiation of CPB to measure kaolin ACT, HDR slope, whole-blood heparin concentration based on the HDR slope and anti-Xa heparin concentration, antithrombin and complete blood count.

Results:

The target ACT of 450 s was not achieved in 68.6% of patients. Compared with patients who achieved the target ACT, those who failed to achieve their target ACT had a significantly higher platelet count at baseline. Correlation between the HDR slope and heparin sensitivity was poor. Projected heparin concentration and anti-Xa heparin concentration are not interchangeable based on the Bland–Altman analysis.

Conclusion:

It can be hypothesized that the wide discrepancy in HDR slope versus heparin sensitivity may be explained by an inaccurate prediction of the plasma heparin level and/or the change in HDR of individual patients, depending on in vivo factors such as extravascular sequestration of heparin, decreased intrinsic antithrombin activity level and platelet count and/or activity.

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