Safety of aprotinin use and re-use in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery

Robert D B Jaquiss, Nancy S. Ghanayem, Michael C. Zacharisen, Kathleen A. Mussatto, James S. Tweddell, S. Bert Litwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Background - Hypersensitivity reactions to aprotinin have been reported in adult cardiac surgical patients undergoing initial and re-exposure to the medication. This study describes the incidence and impact of aprotinin hypersensitivity reactions in children undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. Methods and Results - In this retrospective review of our entire experience with aprotinin (n = 865), 681 first exposures, 150 second exposures, and 34 third or higher exposures were examined. Reactions were classified as mild (generalized cutaneous erythema, Type A) or severe (unexplained cardiopulmonary instability after aprotinin exposure, Type B). Records of patients sustaining a reaction were reviewed to assess the impact of the reaction on outcome and to survey reaction management strategies. Reactions occurred in 7 of 681 first exposures (1.0%), of which 2 were Type A and 5 were Type B. In second exposures, there were reactions in 2 of 150 (1.3%), of which both were Type B. In 34 third or higher exposures, there was only 1 reaction (2.9%), which was Type B. Reactions were no more likely on second, third, or higher exposure than on initial exposure. Skin testing had a negative predictive value of 98.9% and a positive predictive value of 20%. Anti-aprotinin IgE was undetectable in 7 of 8 reactor cases tested. No adverse sequelae were attributed to aprotinin reaction. Conclusions - The risk of hypersensitivity reactions to aprotinin is low in children undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, even with multiple exposures to the medication. Reactions are more likely with re-exposure, and risk increases with multiple exposures. Neither skin testing nor assays for IgE identified reactors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)I90-I94
Issue number13 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 24 2002


  • Drug administration
  • Extracorporeal circulation
  • Heart defects, congenital
  • Heart surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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