Prophylactic recombinant factor VIIa for preventing massive transfusion during orthotopic liver transplantation

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Objectives: Recombinant human activated factor VIIa has been used prophylactically to mitigate requirements for transfusion in liver transplant. We explored its effectiveness and risks among liver transplant recipients at high risk for massive transfusion.
Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective study of recipients who underwent liver transplant from 2012 to 2015. Patients considered at risk for massive transfusion received up to two 20 μg/kg doses of recombinant human activated factor VIIa, with rescue use permitted for other patients. We used propensity matching to determine the average treatment effects on patients who received recombinant human activated factor VIIa prophylactically to prevent massive transfusion. We determined thromboembolic events from medical record review.
Results: Of 234 liver transplant recipients, 38 received prophylactic and 2 received rescue recombinant human activated factor VIIa. We used a prediction model to readily identify those who would receive prophylactic recombinant human activated factor VIIa (C statistic = 0.885; 95% CI, 0.835-0.935). Propensity matching achieved balance, particularly for massive transfusion. Twenty-three of 38 patients (60.5%) who received recombinant human activated factor VIIa and 47 of 76 matched controls (61.8%) experienced massive transfusion. The coefficient for the average treatment effect of prophylactic administration was -0.013 (95% CI, -0.260 to 0.233; P = .92). The cohorts exhibited no difference in number of thromboembolic events (P > .99), although fatal events occurred in 1 patient who had prophylactic and 1 patient who had rescue recombinant human activated factor VIIa.
Conclusions: Prophylactic recombinant human activated factor VIIa use in patients at elevated risk of massive transfusion did not affect incidence of massive transfusion and was not associated with an increase in thromboembolic events overall. The lack of clinical benefit and the potential for fatal throm-boembolic events observed with recombinant human activated factor VIIa precluded its prophylactic use in liver transplant recipients.


Experimental and clinical transplantation