Modern four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate was designed originally for rapid targeted replacement of the coagulation factors II, VII, IX and X. Dosing strategies for the approved indication of vitamin K antagonist-related bleeding vary greatly. They include INR and bodyweight-related protocols as well as fixed dose regimens. Particularly in the massively bleeding trauma and cardiac surgery patient, four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate is used increasingly for haemostatic resuscitation. Members of the Transfusion and Haemostasis Subcommittee of the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiology performed a systematic literature review on four-factor prothrombin complex concentrate. The available evidence has been summarised for dosing, efficacy, drug safety and monitoring strategies in different scenarios. Whereas there is evidence for the efficacy of four-factor prothrombin concentrate for a variety of bleeding scenarios, convincing safety data are clearly missing. In the massively bleeding patient with coagulopathy, our group recommends the administration of an initial bolus of 25 IU.kg-1. This applies for: the acute reversal of vitamin K antagonist therapy; haemostatic resuscitation, particularly in trauma; and the reversal of direct oral anticoagulants when no specific antidote is available. In patients with a high risk for thromboembolic complications, e.g. cardiac surgery, the administration of an initial half-dose bolus (12.5 IU.kg-1) should be considered. A second bolus may be indicated if coagulopathy and microvascular bleeding persists and other reasons for bleeding are largely ruled out. Tissue-factor-activated, factor VII-dependent and heparin insensitive point-of-care tests may be used for peri-operative monitoring and guiding of prothrombin complex concentrate therapy.
- cardiac surgery
- non-cardiac surgery
- prothrombin complex concentrate
- vitamin K antagonist therapy