å-Aminocaproic acid and clinical value in cardiac anesthesia

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OBJECTIVE: The primary aim was to compare the "clinical value" of tranexamic acid (TXA) with ε-aminocaproic acid (EACA) when used for blood conservation during high-risk cardiac surgery. DESIGN: Data previously reported by the Blood Conservation Using Antifibrinolytics in a Randomized Trial (BART) study investigators were reanalyzed independently after appropriate statistical adjustment. The authors compared TXA with EACA for important primary and secondary outcomes and applied the "clinical value" equation to this comparison. SETTING: BART, the largest blinded multicenter study on this topic to date, compared all 3 commonly used antifibrinolytics head-to-head in a randomized dose-equivalent fashion during high-risk cardiac surgery. Comparisons of TXA with EACA with application of the clinical value equation was not performed specifically by the BART investigators. PARTICIPANTS: One thousand five hundred fifty patients enrolled in 2 of the 3 arms of the BART study were included in the analysis (TXA, n= 770 and EACA, n = 780, with data reported by the investigators in the New England Journal of Medicine). MAIN RESULTS: The major finding was that there were no significant differences in overall safety and clinically important efficacy between TXA and EACA. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the substantial difference in costs and with the increasing volume of high-risk cardiac surgery, EACA has increased "clinical value" when compared with TXA. EACA should be the antifibrinolytic medication of choice for high-risk cardiac surgery. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.