International Perfusion Association


The Effect of Perioperative Antithrombin Supplementation on Blood Conservation and Postoperative Complications After Cardiopulmonary Bypass Surgery: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis

Study objective: Antithrombin (AT) activity is reduced during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery. Guidelines has demonstrated that perioperative AT supplementation contributed to blood conservation and prevent perioperative thrombotic complications and target organ injury owing to its role in reducing thrombin generation. But these recommends is lack of support of meta-analysis in the guidelines. This meta-analysis aims to include all the relevant randomized controlled trails (RCT) on patients who experienced cardiac surgeries with CPB and investigate the effect of perioperative AT on blood conservation and complications after cardiac surgery.

Methods: Standard published RCTs were searched from bibliographic databases to identify all evidence reporting perioperative AT supplementation for patients undergoing cardiovascular surgeries. The primary outcome was postoperative blood loss, the secondary outcomes were blood component transfusion (red blood cell (RBC), fresh frozen plasma (FFP), platelet and autologous blood), postoperative morbidity and in hospital mortality. The relative risk (RR) for dichotomous outcomes and the standardized mean difference (SMD) for continuous outcomes were estimated using a random-effects model. Trial sequential analysis (TSA) was performed using TSA software

Results: 13 RCTs with 996 participants undergoing different cardiovascular surgeries were included. Meta-analysis showed AT did not decrease postoperative blood loss (SMD -0.01, 95%CI -0.2 to 0.19). Subgroup analysis showed the effect of AT on postoperative blood loss was not associated with age, RCT type, surgery type, injection time of AT and AT deficiency. TSA further suggested that no additional studies were required for the stable result. Perioperative AT also did not reduce RBC ((SMD 0.10, 95%CI -0.66 to 0.85), (RR 0.99, 95%CI 0.83 to 1.19)), FFP ((SMD 0.11, 95%CI -0.19 to 0.41), (RR 1.30, 95%CI 0.90 to 1.87)), platelet (RR 1.10, 95%CI 0.83 to 1.46) and autologous blood (SMD 0.46, 95%CI -0.12 to 1.8504) transfusions. Perioperative AT significantly increased in hospital mortality (RR 2.53, 95%CI 1.02 to 6.28) and acute kidney injury (AKI) (RR 3.72, 95%CI 1.73 to 8.04) incidence. There was no significant difference in postoperative reexploration, thromboembolism, ECMO/IABP support, and stroke incidence between AT and non-AT group.

Conclusions: With the improvement of AT level and heparin sensitivity, perioperative AT has no significant effect on blood conservation. And it is noteworthy that the treatment increased in hospital mortality and the incidence of AKI after cardiac surgery.

Keywords: Antithrombin; Blood loss; Blood transfusion; CPB; Morbidity.

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