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      The safety profile of drotrecogin alfa (activated)

      review-article

      , 1 , 2 , 3

      Critical Care

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Continued safety assessment is essential for any newly approved therapy. Drotrecogin alfa (activated; DrotAA), which is approved for use in severe sepsis, has undergone clinical trials with corresponding safety analyses since 1995. However, the only comprehensive review of all trials is that reported in 2003 by Bernard and coworkers. This is an important review that focuses on the safety profile of DrotAA in all published studies (six randomized clinical trials and five national registry studies) and in previously unpublished data. DrotAA treatment is associated with an increased risk for bleeding (which in general is manageable). Nevertheless, the available evidence shows that any adverse effects of DrotAA are outweighed by its benefits in patients with severe sepsis who are at high risk for death. So far, more than 9,000 patients have been enrolled in clinical trials involving DrotAA, providing a valuable safety database. It is of note that although DrotAA does increase the risk of bleeding, this has not been associated with an overall increase in the rate of all severe adverse events.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Caring for the critically ill patient. High-dose antithrombin III in severe sepsis: a randomized controlled trial.

          Activation of the coagulation system and depletion of endogenous anticoagulants are frequently found in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Diffuse microthrombus formation may induce organ dysfunction and lead to excess mortality in septic shock. Antithrombin III may provide protection from multiorgan failure and improve survival in severely ill patients. To determine if high-dose antithrombin III (administered within 6 hours of onset) would provide a survival advantage in patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase 3 clinical trial in patients with severe sepsis (the KyberSept Trial) was conducted from March 1997 through January 2000. A total of 2314 adult patients were randomized into 2 equal groups of 1157 to receive either intravenous antithrombin III (30 000 IU in total over 4 days) or a placebo (1% human albumin). All-cause mortality 28 days after initiation of study medication. Overall mortality at 28 days in the antithrombin III treatment group was 38.9% vs 38.7% in the placebo group (P =.94). Secondary end points, including mortality at 56 and 90 days and survival time in the intensive care unit, did not differ between the antithrombin III and placebo groups. In the subgroup of patients who did not receive concomitant heparin during the 4-day treatment phase (n = 698), the 28-day mortality was nonsignificantly lower in the antithrombin III group (37.8%) than in the placebo group (43.6%) (P =.08). This trend became significant after 90 days (n = 686; 44.9% for antithrombin III group vs 52.5% for placebo group; P =.03). In patients receiving antithrombin III and concomitant heparin, a significantly increased bleeding incidence was observed (23.8% for antithrombin III group vs 13.5% for placebo group; P<.001). High-dose antithrombin III therapy had no effect on 28-day all-cause mortality in adult patients with severe sepsis and septic shock when administered within 6 hours after the onset. High-dose antithrombin III was associated with an increased risk of hemorrhage when administered with heparin. There was some evidence to suggest a treatment benefit of antithrombin III in the subgroup of patients not receiving concomitant heparin.
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            The cytoprotective protein C pathway.

            Protein C is best known for its mild deficiency associated with venous thrombosis risk and severe deficiency associated with neonatal purpura fulminans. Activated protein C (APC) anticoagulant activity involves proteolytic inactivation of factors Va and VIIIa, and APC resistance is often caused by factor V Leiden. Less known is the clinical success of APC in reducing mortality in severe sepsis patients (PROWESS trial) that gave impetus to new directions for basic and preclinical research on APC. This review summarizes insights gleaned from recent in vitro and in vivo studies of the direct cytoprotective effects of APC that include beneficial alterations in gene expression profiles, anti-inflammatory actions, antiapoptotic activities, and stabilization of endothelial barriers. APC's cytoprotection requires its receptor, endothelial cell protein C receptor, and protease-activated receptor-1. Because of its pleiotropic activities, APC has potential roles in the treatment of complex disorders, including sepsis, thrombosis, and ischemic stroke. Although much about molecular mechanisms for APC's effects on cells remains unclear, it is clear that APC's structural features mediating anticoagulant actions and related bleeding risks are distinct from those mediating cytoprotective actions, suggesting the possibility of developing APC variants with an improved profile for the ratio of cytoprotective to anticoagulant actions.
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              Drotrecogin alfa (activated) in children with severe sepsis: a multicentre phase III randomised controlled trial.

              Drotrecogin alfa (activated) (DrotAA) is used for the treatment of adults with severe sepsis who have a high risk of dying. A phase 1b open-label study has indicated that the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of DrotAA are similar in children and adults. We initiated the RESOLVE (REsearching severe Sepsis and Organ dysfunction in children: a gLobal perspectiVE) trial to investigate the efficacy and safety of the drug in children. Children aged between 38 weeks' corrected gestational age and 17 years with sepsis-induced cardiovascular and respiratory failure were randomly assigned to receive placebo or DrotAA (24 microg/kg/h) for 96 h. We used a prospectively defined, novel primary endpoint of Composite Time to Complete Organ Failure Resolution (CTCOFR) score. Secondary endpoints were 28-day mortality, major amputations, and safety. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00049764. 477 patients were enrolled; 237 received placebo, and 240 DrotAA. Our results showed no significant difference between groups in CTCOFR score (p=0.72) or in 28-day mortality (placebo 17.5%; DrotAA, 17.2%; p=0.93). Although there was no difference in overall serious bleeding events during the 28-day study period (placebo 6.8%; DrotAA 6.7%; p=0.97), there were numerically more instances of CNS bleeding in the DrotAA group (11 [4.6%], vs 5 [2.1%] in placebo, p=0.13), particularly in children younger than 60 days. For CTCOFR score days 1-14, correlation coefficient was -0.016 (95% CI -0.106 to 0.74); relative risk for 28-day mortality was 1.06 (95% CI 0.66 to 1.46) for DrotAA compared with placebo. Although we did not record any efficacy of DrotAA in children with severe sepsis, serious bleeding events were similar between groups and the overall safety profile acceptable, except in children younger than 60 days. However, we gained important insights into clinical and laboratory characteristics of childhood severe sepsis, and have identified issues that need to be addressed in future trials in critically ill children.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Crit Care
                Critical Care
                BioMed Central
                1364-8535
                1466-609X
                2007
                19 December 2007
                : 11
                : Suppl 5
                : S6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Reparto di Anestesia e Rianimazione, I. Azienda Ospedaliera S. Gerardo dei Tintori, Via Donizetti, 20052 Monza, Milan, Italy
                [2 ]Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Pergolesi 33, 20052 Monza, Milan, Italy
                [3 ]Eli Lilly Italy, Via Antonio Gramsci (Medical Department), Sesto Fiorentino, 50019 Florence, Italy
                Article
                cc6157
                10.1186/cc6157
                2230610
                18269693
                Copyright © 2007 BioMed Central Ltd
                Categories
                Review

                Emergency medicine & Trauma

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