- Strategies to improve platelet function may reduce excessive bleeding during cardiac surgery.
- Patients were randomized to standard care or standard care + noradrenaline infusion.
- Low‐dose noradrenaline improved intraoperative platelet aggregation and clot formation.
- Noradrenaline may be considered to improve intraoperative hemostasis during cardiac surgery.
New approaches to prevent bleeding complications during cardiac surgery are needed.
To investigate if noradrenaline (NA) enhances platelet aggregation in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
Twenty‐four patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) were included in a prospective parallel‐group randomized study. All patients but one were treated with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA). In the treatment group (n = 12), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) was maintained at pre‐induction levels by NA infusion. In the control group (n = 12), NA was administered only if MAP decreased below 60 mmHg. Platelet aggregation (impedance aggregometry with ADP, arachidonic acid [AA] and thrombin‐receptor activating peptide [TRAP] as initiators) and clot formation (clotting time, clot formation time and maximum clot firmness by EXTEM, INTEM and FIBTEM tests with thromboelastometry) were assessed before and 50 min after anesthesia induction (before cardiopulmonary bypass was initiated).
All patients in the treatment group received NA (median dose after 50 min 0.09 (range 0–0.26) μg kg−1 min−1). Four patients in the control group also received NA (0.03–0.12 μg kg−1 min−1). There were differences between the treatment group and the control group in ADP‐ and AA‐induced aggregation changes (ADP, +16 [25th–75th percentiles, 5–26] vs. −7 [−19 to −1] U; AA, +12 [−4 to 16] vs. −9 [−13 to 1] U). INTEM maximum clot firmness increased in the treatment group but not in the control group.
Infusion of clinically relevant doses of NA enhanced platelet aggregation and clot firmness in ASA‐treated CABG patients. NA infusion is hence a potential new method to acutely improve platelet reactivity in patients on antiplatelet therapy undergoing surgery.