Renda G, Di Pillo R, D’Alleva A, Sciartilli A, Zimarino M, De Candia E, Landolfi R, Di Giammarco G, Calafiore A, De Caterina R.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Since the impairment of platelet function may cause excess peri-operative bleeding, pre-operative discontinuation of aspirin and heparin bridging are common for cardiac surgery. We evaluated the impact of pre-operative administration of enoxaparin and unfractionated heparin (UFH) on coagulation parameters and peri-operative bleeding in patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery after discontinuation of aspirin. DESIGN AND METHODS: Forty-three patients with three-vessel coronary artery disease undergoing elective CABG surgery discontinued aspirin and were randomized to receive either UFH 180 UI/Kg x 2/day s.c. or enoxaparin 100 UI/Kg x 2/day s.c. until 12 h before surgery (median pre-operative treatment 8 days, range 6-12 days). Surgery was performed as usual with UFH. Neither UFH nor any low molecular weight heparin was given in the immediate post-operative period. The effects of UFH and enoxaparin were monitored by the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and the Enox-test (sensitive to factor Xa inhibition) using a Rapidpoint Coagulation Analyzer. aPTT and factor Xa activity were also measured by standard methods. Peri-operative bleeding and the nadirs of hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit and platelet count were monitored post-operatively. RESULTS: Patients in the two groups were similar for number of bypasses, on-pump time, total surgery time, and time from the last heparin administration. Coagulation parameters increased significantly and similarly at 30 min and 6 h with both treatments, but returned within the normal range at 12 h. Hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelet counts significantly decreased to the same extent after CABG and re-normalized at the same time. Transfusional requirements of blood and plasma units were similar in the two groups. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: From the kinetics of coagulation parameters and the evaluation of bleeding, enoxaparin is a safe alternative to UFH as a bridging therapy to CABG after discontinuation of aspirin.