Paramo JA, Lecumberri R, Hernandez M, Rocha E. Alternativas farmacológicas a la transfusión sanguínea. ¿Qué hay de nuevo? Med Clin (Barc) 2004 Feb 21;122(6):231-236.
Pharmacological approaches to reduce blood transfusion include the protease inhibitor aprotinin, lysine-analogue antifibrinolytics synthetic arginine-vasopressin derivatives (DDAVP) and recombinant factor VII (rfVIIa). These agents are known to prevent the need for blood after major surgery (cardiac, hepatic, and orthopaedic). Among the nonhemostatic agents erythropoietin (EPO) may be effective to reduce blood requirements in medical and surgical patients. Aprotinin is consistently effective in reducing blood transfusion in cardiac and hepatic surgical procedures, but there is little data to support its use in elective orthopaedic surgery. Antifibrinolytics show no evidence of efficacy in cardiac and hepatic surgery and its use is not warranted in orthopaedic surgery. Limited data suggest that DDAVP may be effective when a defect in platelet function is demonstrated. rFVIIa emerges as a promising haemostatic agent with proven benefit to reduce bleeding in haemophiliacs with inhibitors but might also be effective in patients with thrombocytopenia and thrombopathy, as well as in life-threatening hemorrhage in postsurgical patients. Ongoing studies will established its role a possible "universal haemostatic agent". Hematopoietic cytokines, such as EPO, may have a place to avoid blood transfusion in a variety of clinical conditions, including cancer and critically ill patients.