Background: Abciximab (ReoPro; Eli Lilly and Co, Indianapolis, IN) is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor and produces powerful inhibition of platelet function. Clinical trials of abciximab in patients undergoing coronary angioplasty have demonstrated a reduction in thrombotic complications and have encouraged the widespread use of this agent. We have observed a substantial incidence of excessive bleeding among patients who receive abciximab and subsequently require emergency cardiac operations.
Methods: The records of 11 consecutive patients who required emergency cardiac operations after administration of abciximab and failed angioplasty or stent placement were reviewed.
Results: The interval from the cessation of abciximab administration to operation was critical in determining the degree of coagulopathy after cardiopulmonary bypass. The median values for postoperative chest drainage (1,300 versus 400 mL; p < 0.01), packed red blood cells transfused (6 versus 0 U; p = 0.02), platelets transfused (20 versus 0 packs; p = 0.02), and maximum activated clotting time (800 versus 528 seconds; p = 0.01) all were significantly greater in the early group (cardiac operation < 12 hours after abciximab administration; n = 6) compared with the late (cardiac operation >12 hours after abciximab administration; n = 5) group.
Conclusions: This report suggests that the antiplatelet agent abciximab is associated with substantial bleeding when it is administered within 12 hours of operation.