The effects of platelet inhibitors on blood use in cardiac surgery

Leonard Y. Lee, William DeBois, Karl H. Krieger, Leonard N. Girardi, Laura Russo, James McVey, Wilson Ko, Nasser K. Altorki, Richard A. Brodman, O. Wayne Isom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Platelet inhibition via glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists has greatly reduced the need for emergent cardiac surgery. However, this change has come at a cost to both the patient and the cardiac surgical team in terms of increased bleeding risk. Current guidelines for patients requiring coronary artery bypass surgery include: 1) cessation of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor; 2) delay of surgery for up to 12 h if abciximab, tirofiban, or eptafibitide is used; 3) utilization of ultrafiltration via zero balance technique; 4) maintenance of standard heparin dosing despite elevated bleeding times; and 5) transfusion of platelets as needed, rather than prophylactically. These agents present cardiac surgery teams with increased risk during CABG, although overall risk may be diminished by the substantial benefits to patients with acute coronary syndromes and percutaneous interventions, i.e., reduced infarction rates and improved vessel patency. With judicious planning, urgent coronary artery bypass can be safely performed on patients who have been treated with GP IIb/IIIa receptor inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Safety Research
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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