Ancrod (Arvin®) as an Alternative to Heparin Anticoagulation for Cardiopulmonary Bypass Academic Article uri icon

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  • Heparin is the anticoagulant used during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Both the use of heparin and the reversal of its effect with protamine have well-documented complications. Ancrod is a defibrinogenating enzyme that has been used as an anticoagulant in humans, but its use as an anticoagulant for CPB has been limited to studies in animals. Twenty patients for elective aortocoronary bypass surgery were anticoagulated by means of an intravenous infusion of ancrod pre-operatively. Target plasma fibrinogen concentrations of 0.40-0.80 g/l were achieved within 13.3 +/- 2.5 h using an average dose of ancrod of 1.65 +/- 0.55 U/g. All perfusions were without incident. Postoperative blood loss (2286 +/- 1311 cc) was compared to that of 20 matched controls (1737 +/- 973 cc), as was blood product use; 4.1 +/- 2.1 U of packed cells versus 2.5 +/- 2.3 U (P less than 0.05) and 5.6 +/- 3.1 U of plasma versus 2.6 +/- 2.9 U (P less than 0.05) in the ancrod and heparin-treated groups, respectively. There were no differences in the postoperative courses or recovery periods of the ancrod-treated and control patients. This study confirms the efficacy and feasibility of ancrod as an alternative form of anticoagulation for CPB.


  • Zulys, Vytas J
  • Teasdale, Sallie J
  • Michel, Ernest R
  • Skala, Richard
  • Keating, Susan E
  • Viger, Julia Rose
  • Glynn, Michael FX

publication date

  • December 1, 1989