Low Antithrombin Levels in Neonates and Infants Undergoing Congenital Heart Surgery Result in More Red Blood Cell and Plasma Transfusion on Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Transfusion. 2020 Sep 17. Online ahead of print

Low preoperative AT level is associated with increased transfusion of RBC and FFP on CPB in neonates and infants undergoing congenital heart surgery. Low preoperative AT level did not result in coagulation activation after CPB and after surgery.

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Background

Neonates have lower levels of antithrombin (AT) due to immature liver synthetic function. AT deficiency may lead to inadequate anticoagulation with heparin during cardiac surgery resulting in consumption of coagulation factors and increased blood transfusion. The goal of this study is to examine the effect of AT level on the transfusion requirements of neonates and infants undergoing open heart surgery.

Study Design and Methods

This is a prospective, observational study at a tertiary pediatric referral center. Neonates and infants up to 6 months of age undergoing congenital heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) were enrolled. Demographic, intraoperative, transfusion, and complications data were collected. Preoperative AT level was measured after induction of anesthesia. Prior to separation from CPB, a second blood sample was drawn and AT, thrombin antithrombin complex (TAT), D‐dimer, and anti‐Xa levels were measured. Linear and logistic regression were performed for data analysis.

Results

Preoperative low AT level was significantly associated with increased transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) during CPB, but not after separation from CPB. The incidence of thrombosis and re‐operation were not associated with preoperative AT levels. There was no association between TAT, D‐dimer, and anti‐Xa levels at the end of CPB and preoperative AT levels.

Conclusion

Low preoperative AT level is associated with increased transfusion of RBC and FFP on CPB in neonates and infants undergoing congenital heart surgery. Low preoperative AT level did not result in coagulation activation after CPB and after surgery.