Excessive bleeding is a common complication of cardiac surgery. An important cause of bleeding is acquired hypofibrinogenemia (fibrinogen level <1.5-2.0 g/L), for which guidelines recommend fibrinogen replacement with cryoprecipitate or fibrinogen concentrate. The 2 products have important differences, but comparative clinical data are lacking.
To determine if fibrinogen concentrate is noninferior to cryoprecipitate for treatment of bleeding related to hypofibrinogenemia after cardiac surgery.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Randomized clinical trial at 11 Canadian hospitals enrolling adult patients experiencing clinically significant bleeding and hypofibrinogenemia after cardiac surgery (from February 10, 2017, to November 1, 2018). Final 28-day follow-up visit was completed on November 28, 2018.
Fibrinogen concentrate (4 g; n = 415) or cryoprecipitate (10 units; n = 412) for each ordered dose within 24 hours after cardiopulmonary bypass.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Primary outcome was blood components (red blood cells, platelets, plasma) administered during 24 hours post bypass. A 2-sample, 1-sided test for the ratio of the mean number of units was conducted to evaluate noninferiority (threshold for noninferiority ratio, <1.2).
Of 827 randomized patients, 735 (372 fibrinogen concentrate, 363 cryoprecipitate) were treated and included in the primary analysis (median age, 64 [interquartile range, 53-72] years; 30% women; 72% underwent complex operations; 95% moderate to severe bleeding; and pretreatment fibrinogen level, 1.6 [interquartile range, 1.3-1.9] g/L). The trial met the a priori stopping criterion for noninferiority at the interim analysis after 827 of planned 1200 patients were randomized. Mean 24-hour postbypass allogeneic transfusions were 16.3 (95% CI, 14.9 to 17.8) units in the fibrinogen concentrate group and 17.0 (95% CI, 15.6 to 18.6) units in the cryoprecipitate group (ratio, 0.96 [1-sided 97.5% CI, −∞ to 1.09; P < .001 for noninferiority] [2-sided 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.09; P = .50 for superiority]). Thromboembolic events occurred in 26 patients (7.0%) in the fibrinogen concentrate group and 35 patients (9.6%) in the cryoprecipitate group.
Conclusions and Relevance
In patients undergoing cardiac surgery who develop clinically significant bleeding and hypofibrinogenemia after cardiopulmonary bypass, fibrinogen concentrate is noninferior to cryoprecipitate with regard to number of blood components transfused in a 24-hour period post bypass. Use of fibrinogen concentrate may be considered for management of bleeding in patients with acquired hypofibrinogenemia in cardiac surgery.