Effects of ε-Aminocaproic Acid and Aprotinin on Leukocyte-Platelet Adhesion in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery

Philip E Greilich, Chad F. Brouse, Christine S. Rinder, Brian R. Smith, Bernardo A. Sandoval, Henry M. Rinder, Robert C. Eberhart, Michael E Jessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: The administration of aprotinin during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is hypothesized to decrease activation of leukocytes and platelets and possibly reduce their adhesion. Although ε-aminocaproic acid (EACA) shares the ability of aprotinin to inhibit excessive plasmin activity after CPB, its effect on leukocyte and platelet activation and leukocyte-platelet (heterotypic) adhesion is largely unknown. This study was performed to determine the relative effectiveness of the antifibrinolytics, aprotinin and EACA, at reducing leukocyte and platelet activation and leukocyte-platelet conjugate formation in patients undergoing CPB. Methods: Thirty-six patients scheduled to undergo cardiac surgery with CPB were randomized in a double-blind fashion to receive EACA, aprotinin, or saline (placebo). Markers of plasmin activity (D-dimer concentrations), platelet activation (CD62P), leukocyte activation (CD11b), and leukocyte-platelet adhesion (monocyte- and neutrophil-platelet conjugates) were measured before, during, and after CPB. Results: Platelet CD62P (P-selectin), monocyte CD11b, and monocyte-platelet conjugates were all significantly increased (compared with baseline) in the saline group during and after CPB. Despite equivalent reductions in D-dimer formation in patients receiving EACA (P < 0.0001) and aprotinin (P < 0.0001), decreases in platelet CD62P and monocyte CD11b expression were incomplete (not significantly different from saline control). In contrast, peak monocyte-platelet conjugate formation was significantly reduced by both EACA (P = 0.026) and aprotinin (P = 0.039) immediately after CPB. Conclusions: EACA seems to be as effective as aprotinin at reducing peak monocyte-platelet adhesion after CPB. Furthermore, inhibition of excessive plasmin activity seems to influence monocyte-platelet adhesion. The findings suggest that monocyte-platelet conjugate formation may be a useful marker of monocyte and platelet activation in this clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-233
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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