Aprotinin in lung transplantation is associated with an increased incidence of primary graft dysfunction

Silvana F. Marasco, David Pilcher, Takahiro Oto, Wenly Chang, Anne Griffiths, Vince Pellegrino, Justin Chan, Michael Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Aprotinin has been widely used to reduce bleeding and transfusion requirements in cardiac surgery and in lung transplantation. A recent study found a significant reduction in severe (grade III) primary graft dysfunction (PGD) in lung transplantation where aprotinin had been used. However, recently, concerns regarding the safety of aprotinin have been raised, and the future use of aprotinin is uncertain. In our institution, aprotinin has been widely used in cardiac surgery and transplantation. We decided to review our lung transplant caseload to investigate the impact of aprotinin on PGD and mortality and to guide our future clinical use of this antifibrinolytic. Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively collected data on 213 consecutive patients who underwent single- or double-lung transplantation was performed. Ninety-nine patients, who received aprotinin, were compared with 114 patients who did not. The main outcome variables analysed were development of primary graft dysfunction, renal impairment and mortality. Results: Aprotinin was associated with a significantly increased risk of PGD in the first 48 h postoperatively (p = 0.01). Conclusions: In conclusion, although the benefits of aprotinin on blood loss are well established, this study does not provide support for the use of aprotinin to reduce PGD in lung transplantation and indicates that aprotinin may in fact have a detrimental effect. Crown

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Antifibrinolytic agent
  • Lung transplantation
  • Reperfusion injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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