[Argatroban, a new antithrombotic treatment for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia application in cardiac surgery and in intensive care.]

Annales francaises d'anesthesie et de reanimation

PubMedID: 25148720

Rozec B, Boissier E, Godier A, Cinotti R, Stephan F, Blanloeil Y. [Argatroban, a new antithrombotic treatment for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia application in cardiac surgery and in intensive care.]. Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2014;.
OBJECTIVES
Although heparin-induced thrombocytopemia (HIT) is uncommon, its thromboembolic complications are potentially life-threatening. The low-molecular weight heparins are less responsible of HIT than unfractionated heparin (UFH) but this latter is still indicated in some circumstances such as cardiac surgery. Argatroban, a selective thrombin inhibitor, recently available, has been indicated in HIT treatment. This review presents the main pharmacological characteristics, its indications and uses in the context of cardiac surgery and in intensive care medicine.

METHODS
Review of the literature in Medline database over the past 15 years using the following keywords: argatroban, cardiac surgery, circulatory assistance, cardiopulmonary bypass.

RESULTS
Despite its short-acting pharmacokinetic, argatroban cannot be recommended during cardiopulmonary bypass. On the contrary, argatroban is indicated in many circumstances in postoperative period of various cardiac surgeries (on-pump, off-pump, circulatory assistance). Nevertheless, after cardiac surgery, doses have to be adapted according to coagulation laboratory testing (ACT), particularly in patients presenting acute organ failure (kidney injury, heart failure, liver failure). This compound has no antagonist and is excluded during severe hepatic failure. The continuous intravenous administration is a drawback.

CONCLUSION
Argatroban is a new direct competitive thrombin inhibitor well evaluated as treatment of HIT after cardiac surgery. In HIT management, argatroban is an interesting alternative to lepirudin that is not anymore available and danaparoid because of supply disturbances.