A 0.6-protamine/heparin ratio in cardiac surgery is associated with decreased transfusion of blood products

A 0.6-protamine/heparin ratio in cardiac surgery is associated with decreased transfusion of blood products




In cardiac surgery, adequate heparinization is necessary to prevent thrombus formation in the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). To counteract the heparin effect after weaning from CPB, protamine is administered. The optimal protamine/heparin ratio is still unknown.


In this before–after study, we evaluated the effect of a 0.6/1-protamine/heparin ratio implementation as of May 2017 versus a 0.8/1-protamine/heparin ratio on the 12-h postoperative blood loss and the amount of blood and blood component transfusions (fresh frozen plasma, packed red blood cells, fibrinogen concentrate, platelet concentrate and prothrombin complex concentrate) after cardiac surgery. A total of 2051 patients who underwent cardiac surgery requiring CPB between May 2016 and May 2018 were included.


In the 0.6/1-protamine/heparin ratio group, only 28.8% of the patients received blood component transfusion, compared to 37.9% of the patients in the 0.8/1-ratio group (P < 0.001). The median 12-h postoperative blood loss was 230 ml (interquartile range 140–320) in the 0.6/1-ratio group versus 260 ml (interquartile range 155–365) in the 0.8/1-ratio group (P < 0.001).


A 0.6/1-protamine/heparin ratio after weaning from CPB is associated with a significantly reduced 12-h postoperative blood loss and blood components transfusion.

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