• Anesthesiology · Jun 2024

    Antithrombin levels and heparin responsiveness during veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a prospective single-center cohort study.

    • Alexandre Mansour, Mathilde Berahou, Joscelyn Odot, Adeline Pontis, Alessandro Parasido, Florian Reizine, Yoann Launey, Ronan Garlantézec, Erwan Flecher, Thomas Lecompte, Nicolas Nesseler, and Isabelle Gouin-Thibault.
    • Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Pontchaillou, University Hospital of Rennes, Rennes, France; University of Rennes, National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Center of Clinical Investigation, Research Institute for Environmental and Occupational Health, University Hospital Federation Survival Optimization in Organ Transplantation, Univ Rennes, Rennes, France.
    • Anesthesiology. 2024 Jun 1; 140 (6): 115311641153-1164.

    BackgroundUnfractionated heparin, administered during venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to prevent thromboembolic events, largely depends on plasma antithrombin for its antithrombotic effects. Decreased heparin responsiveness seems frequent on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; however, its association with acquired antithrombin deficiency is poorly understood. The objective of this study was to describe longitudinal changes in plasma antithrombin levels during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support and evaluate the association between antithrombin levels and heparin responsiveness. The hypothesis was that extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support would be associated with acquired antithrombin deficiency and related decreased heparin responsiveness.MethodsAdults receiving venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were prospectively included. All patients received continuous intravenous unfractionated heparin using a standardized protocol (target anti-Xa 0.3 to 0.5 IU/ml). For each patient, arterial blood was withdrawn into citrate-containing tubes at 11 time points (from hour 0 up to day 7). Anti-Xa (without dextran or antithrombin added) and antithrombin levels were measured. The primary outcome was the antithrombin plasma level. In the absence of consensus, antithrombin deficiency was defined as a time-weighted average of antithrombin less than or equal to 70%. Data regarding clinical management and heparin dosage were collected.ResultsFifty patients, including 42% postcardiotomy, were included between April 2020 and May 2021, with a total of 447 samples. Median extracorporeal membrane oxygenation duration was 7 (interquartile range, 4 to 12) days. Median antithrombin level was 48% (37 to 60%) at baseline. Antithrombin levels significantly increased throughout the follow-up. Time-weighted average of antithrombin levels was 63% (57 to 73%) and was less than or equal to 70% in 32 (64%) of patients. Overall, 45 (90%) patients had at least one antithrombin value less than 70%, and 35 (70%) had at least one antithrombin value less than 50%. Antithrombin levels were not significantly associated with heparin responsiveness evaluated by anti-Xa assay or heparin dosage.ConclusionsVenoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was associated with a moderate acquired antithrombin deficiency, mainly during the first 72 h, that did not correlate with heparin responsiveness.Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc., on behalf of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

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