Extracorporeal heparin adsorption following cardiopulmonary bypass with a heparin removal device - An alternative to protamine

Weike Tao, Donald J. Deyo, Robert L. Brunston, Roger A. Vertrees, Joseph B. Zwischenberger

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18 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and applicability of a heparin removal device (HRD) based on plasma separation and poly-L-lysine (PLL) affinity adsorption as an alternative to protamine in reversing systemic heparinization following cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Design: A prospective study. Setting: University research laboratory. Subjects: Adult female swine (n = 7). Interventions: Female Yorkshire swine (n = 7, 67.3 ± 3.5 [SEM] kg) were subjected to 60 mins of right atrium-to-aortic, hypothermlc (28°C) CPB. After weaning from CPB, the right atrium was recannulated with a two-stage, dual-lumen cannula which was connected to an HRD via extracorporeal circulation. Blood flow was drained at 1431.2 ± 25.4 mL/min from the inferior vena cava, through the plasma separation chamber of the HRD (where heparin was bound to PLL), and reinfused into the right atrium. The HRD run time was determined by a previously established mathematical model of first-order exponential depletion. Measurements and Main Results: Heart rate, mean arterial pressure, pulmonary arterial pressure, central venous pressure, kaolin and celite activated clotting time (ACT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), heparin concentration, and plasma free hemoglobin were obtained before, during, and after the use of the HRD. Pre-CPB ACT was 167 ± 89 secs (kaolin) and 99 ± 7 secs (celite), and APTT was 34 ± 5 secs. The HRD run time averaged 27.4 ± 1.5 mins targeted to remove 90% total body heparin. Use of the HRD was not associated with any adverse hemodynamic reactions or increases in plasma free hemoglobin. The heparin concentration immediately following CPB was 4.65 ± 0.24 units/mL, with ACT >1000 secs and APTr >150 secs in all animals. During heparin removal, total body heparin content followed first-order exponential depletion kinetics. At the end of the HRD run, heparin concentration decreased to 0.51 ± 0.09 units/mL, with kaolin ACT returning to 177 ± 22 secs, celite ACT returning to 179 ± 17 secs, and APTT returning to 27 ± 3 secs (p > .05 vs. pre-CPB baseline for all variables). Conclusions: The HRD is capable of reversal of anticoagulation following CPB without significant blood cell damage or changes In hemodynamics. The HRD, therefore, can serve as an alternative to achieve heparin clearance in clinical situations where use of protamine may be contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1102
Number of pages7
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Extracorporeal circulation
  • Heparin
  • Poly-L- lysine
  • Protamine
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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