Indexed on: 12 Sep '13Published on: 12 Sep '13Published in: Anesthesia and analgesia
Neonates are at high risk for bleeding complications after cardiovascular surgery. Activation of intravascular fibrinolysis is one of the principal effects of cardiopulmonary bypass that causes poor postoperative hemostasis. Antifibrinolytic medications such as tranexamic acid are often used as prophylaxis against fibrinolysis, but concentration/effect data to guide dosing are sparse for adults and have not been published for neonates. Higher concentrations of tranexamic acid than those necessary for inhibition of fibrinolysis may have adverse effects. Therefore, we investigated the concentration of tranexamic acid necessary to inhibit activated fibrinolysis in neonatal plasma.We conducted an in vitro study using neonatal plasma derived from the placenta/cord units from 20 term, elective cesarean deliveries. Graded concentrations of tranexamic acid were added to aliquots of the pooled plasma before maximally activating fibrinolysis with high-dose tissue-type plasminogen activator. Thromboelastography was then performed with the primary outcome variable being lysis at 30 minutes. These procedures were repeated on pooled adult normal plasma and dilutions of neonatal plasma.The minimum concentrations of tranexamic acid to completely prevent fibrinolysis were 6.54 μg/mL (95% confidence interval, 5.19-7.91) for neonatal plasma and 17.5 μg/mL (95% confidence interval, 14.59-20.41) for adult plasma. Neonatal plasma requires a significantly lower concentration than adult plasma (P < 0.0001, 2-sided Wald test).Our data establish the minimal effective concentration of tranexamic acid necessary to completely prevent fibrinolysis in neonatal plasma in vitro. These data may be useful in designing a dosing scheme for tranexamic acid appropriate for neonates.