Heparin-coated circuits for high-risk patients: a multicenter, prospective, randomized trial

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Heparin-coated circuits (HCCs) in low-risk cardiac patients who have coronary revascularization have a limited impact on postoperative outcome. In this prospective, randomized investigation, we studied high-risk patients who had cardiac operations with or without HCCs.


A total of 886 patients who had cardiac operations with cardiopulmonary bypass and at least one patient-related or procedure-related risk factor were enrolled in a multicenter study. They were randomly allocated to have cardiopulmonary bypass with Duraflo II HCCs (HCC group, n = 442) or conventional circuits (control group, n = 444). Postoperative outcome was investigated with respect to the occurrence of organ dysfunction.


HCCs are associated with a shorter intensive care unit and postoperative hospital stay and with a lower rate of patients having a severely impaired clinical outcome (stay in intensive care unit for more than 5 days or death) (relative risk 0.66, p = 0.045). Lung dysfunction rate was significantly lower for the patients in HCC group affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or who had mitral procedure (relative risk, respectively, 0.31, p = 0.018 and 0.05, p = 0.02). Renal dysfunction rate was significantly (p = 0.05) lower for diabetics in the HCC group (relative risk 0.28).


When HCCs were used postoperative times decreased and they had a protective effect on lung and kidney function in high-risk patients.

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