Cytosorb Adsorption During Emergency Cardiac Operations in Patients at High Risk of Bleeding

Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Jul;108(1):45-51. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.12.032. Epub 2019 Jan 23.


Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the results of Cytosorb (CytoSorbents, Monmouth Junction, NJ) adsorption during emergency open heart operations in patients at high risk of bleeding due to treatment with coagulation-active substances.

Methods: We investigated 55 consecutive patients (median age 70 years; interquartile range: 60 to 77) who underwent emergency cardiac surgery at our institution between June 2016 and June 2018. All patients were receiving therapy with either ticagrelor (n = 43) or rivaroxaban (n = 12). In 39 of 55 cases, we routinely installed standardized Cytosorb adsorption into the heart-lung machine. Bleeding complications during and after surgery were analyzed in detail and compared with 16 patients without adsorption.

Results: In the Cytosorb adsorption group, no rethoracotomies had to be performed. Drainage volumes in 24 hours were only 350 mL (interquartile range: 300 to 450 mL) after ticagrelor administration and 390 mL (interquartile range: 310 to 430 mL) after rivaroxaban therapy. In the majority of patients, transfusions of blood products were not needed. Compared with that group, among the group of patients without adsorption, multiple bleeding complications occurred. These were associated with longer total operation (p = 0.0042), higher drainage volumes (p = 0.0037), more transfusions of red blood cells (p = 0.0119) and platelets (p = 0.0475), a significantly higher rethoracotomy rate (p = 0.0003), significantly prolonged stay in the intensive care unit (p = 0.0141), and a longer hospital stay (p = 0.0244).

Conclusions: The intraoperative use of Cytosorb adsorption of ticagrelor and rivaroxaban in emergency open heart operations is reported for the first time. The data show that the strategy is safe and is an effective method to reduce bleeding complications. We recommend the use for safety in patients with ticagrelor or rivaroxaban undergoing emergency cardiac surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Emergencies
  • Female
  • Hemadsorption*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Rivaroxaban / adverse effects
  • Ticagrelor / adverse effects


  • Rivaroxaban
  • Ticagrelor