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Ten dogs were subjected to defibrinogenation with an intravenous perfusion of ancrod (1 unit/kg) (Arvin, Knoll AG, Ludwigshafen, Federal Republic of Germany) over a 2 1/2 hour period. Six of them were subjected to extracorporeal elimination of carbon dioxide with a polypropylene membrane lung by means of veno-venous bypass. The remaining four dogs did not undergo extracorporeal circulation and served as control subjects. In both groups, ancrod administration itself resulted in a marked drop in alpha 2-antiplasmin (33% and 67%, respectively, of the baseline values) and in slight but significant decreases in factor II and plasminogen activities of 25% and 20%, respectively (p less than 0.05), in the group subjected to carbon dioxide removal. There were no significant changes in platelet number or factor V and antithrombin III activities. During the 6-hour bypass period, platelet count and antithrombin III and factor II and V levels decreased significantly. No bleeding was observed. Histologic examination of lung biopsy tissue showed no pathologic features. Analysis of the membrane of the artificial lungs revealed no fibrin deposits. In the control group, except for a drop in alpha 2-antiplasmin levels (54%), no significant changes in hemostatic parameters occurred during the corresponding 6 hours. We conclude that, despite the drop in coagulation factors and in alpha 2-antiplasmin activity during bypass, ancrod can be considered as a valuable alternative anticoagulant for extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal.


Journal article


J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Publication Date





275 - 281


Ancrod, Animals, Blood Coagulation, Carbon Dioxide, Dogs, Extracorporeal Circulation, Female, Fibrin, Fibrinogen, Male, Plasminogen, alpha-2-Antiplasmin