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Crit Care Explor ; 3(9): e0530, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405066

ABSTRACT

A significant proportion of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation at our institution demonstrated heparin resistance, which in combination with a heparin shortage resulted in the transition to argatroban with or without aspirin as an alternative anticoagulation strategy. The optimal anticoagulation strategy for coronavirus disease 2019 patients requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is unknown, and therefore, we sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety of argatroban with or without aspirin as an alternative anticoagulation strategy in this patient population. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort. SETTING: Single-center tertiary-care facility in Fort Sam Houston, TX, from 2020 to 2021. PATIENTS: Twenty-four patients who were cannulated for venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation due to respiratory failure secondary to coronavirus disease 2019. INTERVENTIONS: Argatroban, with or without aspirin, was substituted for heparin in coronavirus disease 2019 patients requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Eighty percent of our coronavirus disease 2019 patients requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation demonstrated heparin resistance, and patients who were initially started on heparin were significantly more likely to require a change to argatroban than vice versa due to difficulty achieving or maintaining therapeutic anticoagulation goals (93.4% vs 11.1%; p < 0.0001). The time to reach the therapeutic anticoagulation goal was significantly longer for patients who were initially started on heparin in comparison with argatroban (24 vs 6 hr; p = 0.0173). Bleeding and thrombotic complications were not significantly different between the two cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: Argatroban, with or without aspirin, is an effective anticoagulation strategy for patients who require venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support secondary to coronavirus disease 2019. In comparison with heparin, this anticoagulation strategy was not associated with a significant difference in bleeding or thrombotic complications, and was associated with a significantly decreased time to therapeutic anticoagulation goal, likely as a result of high rates of heparin resistance observed in this patient population.

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