Perioperative bleeding is a potentially devastating complication in neurosurgical patients, and plasma fibrinogen concentration has been identified as a potential modifiable risk factor for perioperative bleeding. The aim of this study was to evaluate preconditioning with Crotalus atrox venom (Cv-PC) as potential preventive therapy for reducing perioperative hemorrhage in the rodent model of surgical brain injury (SBI). C. atrox venom contains snake venom metalloproteinases that cleave fibrinogen into fibrin split products without inducing clotting. Separately, fibrinogen split products induce fibrinogen production, thereby elevating plasma fibrinogen levels. Thus, the hypothesis was that preconditioning with C. atrox venom will produce fibrinogen spilt products, thereby upregulating fibrinogen levels, ultimately improving perioperative hemostasis during SBI. We observed that Cv-PC SBI animals had significantly reduced intraoperative hemorrhage and postoperative hematoma volumes compared to those of vehicle preconditioned SBI animals. Cv-PC animals were also found to have higher levels of plasma fibrinogen at the time of surgery, with unchanged prothrombin time. Cv-PC studies with fractions of C. atrox venom suggest that snake venom metalloproteinases are largely responsible for the improved hemostasis by Cv-PC. Our findings indicate that Cv-PC increases plasma fibrinogen levels and may provide a promising therapy for reducing perioperative hemorrhage in elective surgeries.
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