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Reduced complement activation with heparin-coated oxygenator and tubings in coronary bypass operations

, : Reduced complement activation with heparin-coated oxygenator and tubings in coronary bypass operations. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 103(4): 806-813

Complement activation after cardiopulmonary bypass is correlated with postoperative organ dysfunction. Heparin coating of the entire blood-contact surface of the cardiopulmonary bypass circuit has proved to reduce complement activation in vitro. A membrane oxygenator and tubing setup coated with functionally active heparin was compared with an uncoated, otherwise identical setup in 20 patients undergoing routine coronary bypass operations. The concentrations of C3 activation products and the terminal complement complex were measured in sensitive and specific enzyme immunoassays. Peak concentrations of C3 activation products were 90.1 (74.7 to 107.4) AU/ml (medians and 95% confidence intervals) and 52.4 (35.7 to 76.4) AU/ml with the uncoated and coated setups, respectively (p = 0.02). The corresponding concentrations of the terminal complement complex were 26.2 (20.1 to 37.5) AU/ml and 13.7 (11.1 to 25.1) AU/ml (p = 0.03). Blood loss from the mediastinal drains during the first 12 postoperative hours was 533 (416 to 975) ml in patients treated with the uncoated setup and 388 (313 to 579) ml in the coated treatment group (p = 0.06) and was significantly correlated with peak concentrations of the terminal complement complex (p = 0.01). There were no differences in neutrophil counts nor platelet numbers between the treatment groups. The approximate 45% reduction in complement activation with the heparin-coated cardiopulmonary bypass device indicates a substantial improvement of biocompatibility.


PMID: 1548925

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