Original Article| Volume 36, ISSUE 1, P147-154, January 2022

Impact of Early, Low-Dose Factor VIIa on Subsequent Transfusions and Length of Stay in Cardiac Surgery


      • Recombinant Factor VIIa (rFVIIa) has been used for cardiac surgical bleeding in an off-label manner
      • Previous studies have identified that low dose rFVIIa (<40 mcg/kg) may have less thrombotic potential than the higher approved doses for hemophilia (90 mcg/kg)
      • The optimal timing of when to administer rFVIIa during the course of cardiac surgical bleeding resuscitation is unknown
      • The current analyzed timing of administration of low dose rFVIIa in terms of number of allogeneic transfusions and found unclear benefit without increased adverse events


      Recombinant factor VII (rFVIIa) is used to treat cardiac surgical bleeding in an off-label manner. However, optimal dosing and timing of administration to provide efficacious yet safe outcomes remain unknown.


      Retrospective, observational study.


      Tertiary care academic center.


      Cardiac surgical patients (N = 214) who received low-dose rFVIIa for cardiac surgical bleeding.


      Patients were allocated into one of three groups based on timing of rFVIIa administration during the course of bleeding resuscitation based on the number of hemostatic products given before rFVIIa administration: group one = ≤one products (n = 82); group two = two-to-four products (n = 73); and group three= ≥five products (n = 59).

      Measurements and Main Results

      Patients who received low-dose rFVIIa later in the course of bleeding resuscitation (group three) had longer intensive care unit stays (p = 0.014) and increased incidence of postoperative renal failure when compared with group one (p = 0.039). Total transfusions were lowest in patients who received rFVIIa early in the course of resuscitation (group one) (median, two [interquartile range (IQR), 1-4.75]) and highest in group three (median, 11 [IQR, 8-14]; p < 0.001). Subsequent blood product transfusions after rFVIIa administration were highest in group two (p = 0.003); however, the median for all three groups was two products. There were no differences in thrombosis, reexplorations, or mortality in any of the groups.


      This study identified no differences in adverse outcomes based on timing of administration of low-dose rFVIIa for cardiac surgical bleeding defined by stage of resuscitation, but the benefits of early administration remain unclear.

      Graphical abstract

      Key Words

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