The International journal of artificial organs vol:20 issue:3 pages:166-74
PURPOSE: Experiments were carried out to test the efficacy and safety of the heparin removal device, a plasmapheresis filter that binds and eliminates heparin, in the context of extracorporeal circulation. PROCEDURES AND FINDINGS: Six dogs were put on cardiopulmonary bypass after heparinization. Upon weaning, additional heparin was administered to obtain an activated clotting time above 900s. The animals were connected to the heparin removal device and with flows of 500 ml/min, activated clotting time, activated partial thromboplastin time and plasma heparin concentrations were normalised to baseline after 30 min. Hemodynamic parameters remained unaffected. A slight decrease in red and white blood cell count and in platelets was observed which however recovered spontaneously two hours after the filter procedure. No damage to blood components could be observed. CONCLUSIONS: The use of a heparin removal device is as efficient as systemic administration of protamine to reverse the effects of heparinization. It may prevent the adverse reactions linked to protamine administration and therefore be indicated in certain subgroups of patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass.