Bivalirudin utilization in cardiac surgery: Shifting anticoagulation from indirect to direct thrombin inhibition
Cardiac Surgical Procedures
Although bivalirudin is not approved for cardiac surgery in the United States, it can be used in this setting in Canada as an anticoagulant in patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia provided the cardiac anesthesiologist is knowledgeable about potential complications from its use and knows how to manage or mitigate their incidence appropriately. During cardiopulmonary bypass, bivalirudin anticoagulation protocols must be thoroughly followed to attain optimal clinical outcomes. Additionally, further studies with bivalirudin are needed to determine the best monitoring modality and dosing regimen.