Anticoagulation for patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia using recombinant hirudin during cardiopulmonary bypass

Hong Liu, Neal Fleming, Peter G Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a common complication of heparin therapy. There are three types of HIT. In the majority of patients, thrombocytopenia is modest and resolves without sequelae (HIT I). In a smaller number of patients, the thrombocytopenia is severe (HIT II), and in still others, the thrombocytopenia is also associated with thrombosis (HITT). Administration of heparin to this latter group of patients causes platelet aggregation, thromboembolism, and thrombocytopenia. It is advisable that heparin not be administered in any form to patients with documented or suspected HIT II or HITT. This situation, of course, poses a problem for those patients requiring cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery. In this report, we summarize our experience with Lepirudin (Hoechst, Frankfurt Ammain, Germany), which is a recombinant hirudin (r-hirudin), as an alternative to heparin for systemic anticoagulation, as well as the use of the ecarine clotting time (ECT) for monitoring anticoagulation status during CPB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-455
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2002



  • Anticoagulation
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Heparin
  • Hirudin
  • Recombinant
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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