Introduction: Prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs) are used for the urgent reversal of oral vitamin K antagonists in patients with life-threatening bleeding or prior to urgent procedures/surgery. PCCs offer rapid and complete reversal without the disadvantages of volume overload and adverse reactions seen with fresh frozen plasma (FFP). There is concern about the risk of thrombosis associated with the use PCCs; data on this is limited at present. Objectives: To determine the incidence of objectively confirmed arterial or venous thromboembolism within 30 days following the administration of PROTHROMBINEX®-VF (PTX-VF) to acutely reverse a prolonged INR. Materials/Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted at two teaching hospitals in Auckland, NZ. All patients who received PTX-VF for the acute reversal of prolonged INR were eligible. Baseline patient demographics and reasons for PTX-VF administration were recorded. Patients were reviewed at days 7 and 30, to confirm/exclude thromboembolism or adverse events. Results: 173 patients were enrolled from August 2008 to March 2009. The most frequent indication for reversal was acute bleeding. At 30 days 4.6% (8/173) patients had a definite/probable thrombotic event, and 16.7% had died either due to the presenting bleed (intracranial haemorrhage) or a complication of their presenting complaint (e.g. sepsis, renal failure). Conclusions: Acute reversal of anticoagulant therapy with PTX-VF is associated with a significant rate of thromboembolism (4.6%) within 30 days. These events can be explained by ongoing cessation of anticoagulant therapy in patients with ongoing risk factors for arterial or venous thrombosis, rather than directly attributable to PTX-VF therapy.
- Anticoagulant reversal
- Prothrombin Complex Concentrates