Akash Deep, Emma C. Alexander, Anuj Khatri, Nisha Kumari, Kalyan Sudheendhra, Prithvi Patel, Amina Joarder, Ismail Elghuwael

Epoprostenol (Prostacyclin Analog) as a Sole Anticoagulant in Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy for Critically Ill Children With Liver Disease: Single-Center Retrospective Study, 2010–2019*

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

OBJECTIVES: Despite deranged coagulation, children with liver disease undergoing continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) are prone to circuit clotting. Commonly used anticoagulants (i.e., heparin and citrate) can have side effects. The aim of this study was to describe our experience of using epoprostenol (a synthetic prostacyclin analog) as a sole anticoagulant during CRRT in children with liver disease. DESIGN: Single-center, retrospective study, 2010–2019. SETTING: Sixteen-bedded PICU within a United Kingdom supra-regional center for pediatric hepatology. PATIENTS: Children with liver disease admitted to PICU who underwent CRRT anticoagulation with epoprostenol. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Regarding CRRT, we assessed filter life duration, effective 60-hour filter survival, and effective solute clearance. We also assessed the frequency of major or minor bleeding episodes per 1,000 hours of CRRT, the use of platelet and RBC transfusions, and the frequency of hypotensive episodes per 1,000 hours of CRRT. In the 10 years 2010–2019, we used epoprostenol anticoagulation during 353 filter episodes of CRRT, lasting 18,508 hours, in 96 patients (over 108 admissions). Median (interquartile range [IQR]) filter life was 48 (IQR 32–72) hours, and 22.9% of filters clotted. Effective 60-hour filter survival was 60.5%.We identified that 5.9% of filters were complicated by major bleeding (1.13 episodes per 1,000 hr of CRRT), 5.1% (0.97 per 1,000 hr) by minor bleeding, and 11.6% (2.22 per 1,000 hr) by hypotension. There were no differences in filter life or clotting between patients with acute liver failure and other liver diseases; there were no differences in rates of bleeding, hypotension, or transfusion when comparing patients with initial platelets of ≤ 50 × 109 per liter to those with a higher initial count. CONCLUSIONS: Epoprostenol, or prostacyclin, as the sole anticoagulant for children with liver disease receiving CRRT in PICU, results in a good circuit life, and complications such as bleeding and hypotension are similar to reports using other anticoagulants, despite concerns about coagulopathy in this cohort.

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