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The story of the discovery of aspirin stretches back more than 3500 years to when bark from the willow tree was used as a pain reliever and antipyretic. It involves an Oxfordshire clergyman, scientists at a German dye manufacturer, a Nobel Prize-winning discovery and a series of pivotal clinical trials. Aspirin is now the most commonly used drug in the world. Its role in preventing cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease has been revolutionary and one of the biggest pharmaceutical success stories of the last century.
The Bruton tyrosine kinase (Btk) inhibitor ibrutinib induces platelet dysfunction and causes increased risk of bleeding. Off-target inhibition of Tec is believed to contribute to platelet dysfunction and other side effects of ibrutinib. The second-generation Btk inhibitor acalabrutinib was developed with improved specificity for Btk over Tec. We investigated platelet function in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) receiving ibrutinib or acalabrutinib by aggregometry and by measuring thrombus formation on collagen under arterial shear. Both patient groups had similarly dysfunctional aggregation responses to collagen and collagen-related peptide, and comparison with mechanistic experiments in which platelets from healthy donors were treated with the Btk inhibitors suggested that both drugs inhibit platelet Btk and Tec at physiological concentrations. Only ibrutinib caused dysfunctional thrombus formation, whereas size and morphology of thrombi following acalabrutinib treatment were of normal size and morphology. We found that ibrutinib but not acalabrutinib inhibited Src family kinases, which have a critical role in platelet adhesion to collagen that is likely to underpin unstable thrombus formation observed in ibrutinib patients. We found that platelet function was enhanced by increasing levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) and factor VIII (FVIII) ex vivo by addition of intermediate purity FVIII (Haemate P) to blood from patients, resulting in consistently larger thrombi. We conclude that acalabrutinib avoids major platelet dysfunction associated with ibrutinib therapy, and platelet function may be enhanced in patients with B-cell NHL by increasing plasma VWF and FVIII.
The cornerstone of life-saving therapy in immune mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) has been plasma exchange (PEX) combined with immunomodulatory strategies. Caplacizumab, a novel anti-von Willebrand factor nanobody, trialled in two multicentre, randomised-placebo-controlled trials leading to EU and FDA approval, has been available in the UK through a patient-access scheme. Data was collected retrospectively from 2018-2020 for 85 patients receiving caplacizumab, including 4 children, from 22 UK hospitals. Patient characteristics and outcomes in the real-world clinical setting were compared with caplacizumab trial endpoints and historical outcomes in the pre-caplacizumab era. 84/85 patients received steroid and rituximab alongside PEX; 26% required intubation. Median time to platelet count normalisation (3 days), duration of PEX (7 days) and hospital stay (12 days) was comparable with RCT data. Median duration of PEX and time from PEX initiation to platelet count normalisation was favourable compared with historical outcomes (p<0.05). TTP recurrence occurred in 5/85 patients; all with persistent ADAMTS13 activity <5iu/dL. Of 31 adverse events in 26 patients, 17/31 (55%) were bleeding episodes and 5/31 (16%) were thrombotic events (two unrelated to caplacizumab); mortality was 6% (5/85), with no deaths attributed to caplacizumab. In 4/5 deaths caplacizumab was introduced >48 hours after PEX initiation (3-21 days). This real-world evidence represents the first and largest series of TTP patients receiving caplacizumab outside clinical trials, including paediatric patients. Representative of true clinical practice, the findings provide valuable information for clinicians treating TTP globally.
We make the following recommendations for the management of suspected cases of IVIg-induced haemolysis: Stop IVIg infusion and perform tests for haemolysis. Check titres of anti-blood group antibodies in IVIg. Provide supportive management for patient with fluid and/or red blood cell transfusions if necessary. Consider quarantine of the IVIg batch if found to be high titre for anti-A/B. Report reaction to regulatory/vigilance body.
This review has found no evidence to support the prophylactic administration of FFP to patients without coagulopathy undergoing elective cardiac surgery. There was insufficient evidence about treatment of patients with coagulopathies or those who are undergoing emergency surgery. There were no reported adverse events attributable to FFP transfusion, although there was a significant increase in the number of patients requiring red cell transfusion who were randomised to FFP. Variability in outcome reporting between trials precluded meta-analysis for many outcomes across all trials, and there was evidence of a high risk of bias in most of the studies. Further adequately powered studies of FFP, or comparable pro-haemostatic agents, are required to assess whether larger reductions in prothrombin time translate into clinical benefits. Overall the evidence from randomised controlled trials for the safety and efficacy of prophylactic transfusion of FFP for cardiac surgery is insufficient.
Background Blood transfusion is administered during many types of surgery, but its efficacy and safety are increasingly questioned. Evaluation of the efficacy of agents, such as desmopressin (DDAVP; 1-deamino-8-D-arginine-vasopressin), that may reduce perioperative blood loss is needed. Objectives To examine the evidence for the efficacy of DDAVP in reducing perioperative blood loss and the need for red cell transfusion in people who do not have inherited bleeding disorders. Search methods We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (2017, issue 3) in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (from 1946), Embase (from 1974), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) (from 1937), the Transfusion Evidence Library (from 1980), and ongoing trial databases (all searches to 3 April 2017). Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials comparing DDAVP to placebo or an active comparator (e.g. tranexamic acid, aprotinin) before, during, or immediately after surgery or after invasive procedures in adults or children. Data collection and analysis We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Main results We identified 65 completed trials (3874 participants) and four ongoing trials. Of the 65 completed trials, 39 focused on adult cardiac surgery, three on paediatric cardiac surgery, 12 on orthopaedic surgery, two on plastic surgery, and two on vascular surgery; seven studies were conducted in surgery for other conditions. These trials were conducted between 1986 and 2016, and 11 were funded by pharmaceutical companies or by a party with a commercial interest in the outcome of the trial. The GRADE quality of evidence was very low to moderate across all outcomes. No trial reported quality of life. DDAVP versus placebo or no treatment Trial results showed considerable heterogeneity between surgical settings for total volume of red cells transfused (low-quality evidence) and for total blood loss (very low-quality evidence) due to large differences in baseline blood loss. Consequently, these outcomes were not pooled and were reported in subgroups. Compared with placebo, DDAVP may slightly decrease the total volume of red cells transfused in adult cardiac surgery (mean difference (MD) -0.52 units, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.96 to -0.08 units; 14 trials, 957 participants), but may lead to little or no difference in orthopaedic surgery (MD -0.02, 95% CI -0.67 to 0.64 units; 6 trials, 303 participants), vascular surgery (MD 0.06, 95% CI -0.60 to 0.73 units; 2 trials, 135 participants), or hepatic surgery (MD -0.47, 95% CI -1.27 to 0.33 units; 1 trial, 59 participants). DDAVP probably leads to little or no difference in the total number of participants transfused with blood (risk ratio (RR) 0.96, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.06; 25 trials; 1806 participants) (moderate-quality evidence). Whether DDAVP decreases total blood loss in adult cardiac surgery (MD -135.24 mL, 95% CI -210.80 mL to -59.68 mL; 22 trials, 1358 pa...
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