Journal of Medical Case Reports;12(1)
Background The lack of an antidote against factor Xa inhibitors in case of major bleeding or need for urgent surgery is a concern to clinicians. Guidelines on managing major bleeding in patients under anticoagulation with a factor Xa inhibitor suggest several hemostatic agents to reverse the effect, but there is no consensus regarding the choice of drug or appropriate dose. The ability of prothrombin complex concentrate, activated prothrombin complex concentrate, and recombinant factor VIIa to reverse the effect of factor Xa inhibitors has been evaluated in animal studies, in vitro studies, and healthy volunteers, but not yet in randomized clinical studies. Case presentation We report a consecutive case series of patients under factor Xa inhibitor (apixaban) treatment who received activated prothrombin complex concentrate to reverse the anticoagulation effect before emergency cardiovascular surgery. Patient 1, a 63-year-old white man, was operated with replacement of the aortic valve; patient 2, a 65-year-old white man, underwent heart transplantation; patient 3, a 68-year-old white man, was operated for acute type A aortic dissection. They all received activated prothrombin complex concentrate 25 IU/kg immediately before surgery. In two of the cases, the global coagulation assay thromboelastometry (ROTEM™) was performed before and after administering activated prothrombin complex concentrate. The ROTEM™ clotting time was reduced from 1900 seconds to 740 seconds and from 1482 to 807 seconds, respectively, after administering a dose of 25 IU/kg activated prothrombin complex concentrate. The apixaban concentration before reversal was within the range considered to be the therapeutic level in all cases. No bleeding complications occurred during surgery, but one case was complicated with bleeding postoperatively. No thromboembolic complications were observed during or after surgery. Conclusions Activated prothrombin complex concentrate 25 IU/kg reversed the anticoagulation effect of apixaban effectively and safely before emergency cardiovascular surgery.