25 Aug 06

Pro/con debate: Octreotide has an important role in the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding of unknown origin?

Posted in Bleeding at 9:12 by Laci

By Y Arabi, B Al Knawy, A N Barkun and M Bardou

Critical Care 2006, 10:218

Whether it is the primary reason for admission or a complication of critical illness, upper gastrointestinal bleeding is commonly encountered in the intensive care unit. In this setting, in the absence of endoscopy, intensivists generally provide supportive care (transfusion of blood products) and acid suppression (such as proton pump inhibitors). More recently, octreotide (a somatostatin analogue) has been used in such patients. However, its precise role in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding is not necessarily clear and the drug is associated with significant costs. In this issue of Critical Care, two expert teams debate the merits of using octreotide in non-variceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Pharmacokinetics of recombinant activated factor VII in trauma patients with severe bleeding

Posted in Bleeding, rFVIIa at 8:59 by Laci

By T Klitgaard, RT y Palacios, KD Boffard, PTC Iau, B Warren et al for the NovoSeven® Trauma Study Group

Critical Care 2006, 10:R104

Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) has been used as adjunctive therapy in trauma patients with severe bleeding. However, its pharmacokinetics profile remains unknown.

In two placebo-controlled studies in patients with blunt and penetrating trauma, the pharmacokinetics of rFVIIa given at an initial dose of 200 µg.kg-1 after transfusion of eight red blood cell units, followed by additional doses of 100 µg.kg-1, one and three hours later, have been studied, based on the FVII coagulant activity assay. Both non-compartment and population pharmacokinetic analyses were performed. A two-compartment, population pharmacokinetic model was used to estimate a population profile for the rFVIIa dosing regimen. Data are population means (percent coefficient of variation (CV)).

Based on the two-compartment population model, the estimated pharmacokinetic parameters were: clearance 40 (30% CV) ml.kg-1.h-1; central volume of distribution 89 (32% CV) ml.kg-1; inter-compartmental clearance 24 ml.kg-1.h-1; and peripheral compartment volume 31 ml.kg-1. Baseline FVII coagulant activity was estimated at 0.29 (39% CV) U.ml-1, initial half-life was 0.6 (34% CV) hours, and terminal half-life 2.4 (50% CV) hours. High intra- and inter-patient variability was noted in volume of distribution and clearance, which was in part correlated with the transfusion requirements as the single significant covariate. The non-compartmental analysis led to almost identical estimates of key parameters.

A high intra- and inter-patient variability was noted in the volume of distribution and clearance of rFVIIa in trauma patients with severe bleeding, mainly related with the transfusion requirements and thus blood loss and/or bleeding rate.

Recommendations on the use of recombinant activated factor VII as an adjunctive treatment for massive bleeding

Posted in Bleeding, rFVIIa at 8:42 by Laci

By J-L Vincent, R Rossaint, B Riou, Y Ozier, D Zideman and DR Spahn

Critical Care 2006, 10:R120  http://ccforum.com/content/10/4/R120

Our aim was to develop consensus guidelines for use of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in massive hemorrhage.

A guidelines committee derived the recommendations using clinical trial and case series data identified through searches of available databases. Guidelines were graded on a scale of A-E according to the strength of evidence available. Consensus was sought among the committee for each recommendation.


A recommendation for use of rFVIIa in blunt trauma was made (grade B). rFVIIa might also be beneficial in post-partum hemorrhage (grade E), uncontrolled bleeding in surgical patients (grade E) and bleeding following cardiac surgery (grade D). rFVIIa could not be recommended for use: in penetrating trauma (grade B); prophylactically in elective surgery (grade A) or liver surgery (grade B); or in bleeding episodes in patients with Child-Pugh A cirrhosis (grade B). Efficacy of rFVIIa was considered uncertain in bleeding episodes in patients with Child-Pugh B and C cirrhosis (grade C). Monitoring of rFVIIa efficacy should be performed visually and by assessment of transfusion requirements (grade E), while thromboembolic adverse events are a cause for concern. rFVIIa should not be administered to patients considered unsalvageable by the treating medical team.

There is a rationale for using rFVIIa to treat massive bleeding in certain indications; however, only adjunctively to the surgical control of bleeding once conventional therapies have failed. Lack of data from randomized, controlled clinical trials, and possible publication bias of the case series data, limits the strength of the recommendations that can be made.

06 Jun 06

Recombinant factor VIIa as adjunctive therapy for bleeding control in severely injured trauma patients: Two parallel randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials

Posted in Bleeding, rFVIIa, Trauma at 17:31 by Laci

By KD Boffard, B Riou, B Warren, PIT Choong, S Rizoli, et al

J Trauma 2005;59:8–18

Uncontrolled bleeding is a leading cause of death in trauma. Two randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials (one in blunt trauma and one in penetrating trauma) were conducted simultaneously to evaluate the efficacy and safety of recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) as adjunctive therapy for control of bleeding in patients with severe blunt or penetrating trauma.

Severely bleeding trauma patients were randomized to rFVIIa (200, 100, and 100 ug/kg) or placebo in addition to standard treatment. The first dose followed transfusion of the eighth red blood cell (RBC) unit, with additional doses 1 and 3 hours later. The primary endpoint for bleeding control in patients alive at 48 hours was units of RBCs transfused within 48 hours of the first dose.

Among 301 patients randomized, 143 blunt trauma patients and 134 penetrating trauma patients were eligible for analysis. In blunt trauma, RBC transfusion was significantly reduced with rFVIIa relative to placebo (estimated reduction of 2.6 RBC units, p=0.02), and the need for massive transfusion (>20 units of RBCs) was reduced (14% vs. 33% of patients; p=0.03). In penetrating trauma, similar analyses showed trends toward rFVIIa reducing RBC transfusion (estimated reduction of 1.0 RBC units, p=0.10) and massive transfusion (7% vs. 19%; p=0.08). Trends toward a reduction in mortality and critical complications were observed. Adverse events including thromboembolic events were evenly distributed between treatment groups.

Recombinant FVIIa resulted in a significant reduction in RBC transfusion in severe blunt trauma. Similar trends were observed in penetrating trauma. The safety of rFVIIa was established in these trauma populations within the investigated dose range.

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