Potential role of recombinant factor VIIa as a hemostatic agent

University of Lund, Sweden.
Clinical advances in hematology & oncology: H&O 03/2003; 1(2):112-9.
Source: PubMed


Recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) has been shown to induce hemostasis in hemophilia patients with inhibitors against factor VIII or factor IX independent of factor VIII/factor IX. Factor VIIa binds to tissue factor (TF) exposed at the site of injury and generates, through factor X activation on the TF-bearing cells, enough thrombin to activate factors VIII, V, and XI, as well as platelets. The thrombin-activated platelets provided a perfect template for binding of activated factors VIII, IX, and V, further activation of factor X, and thrombin generation. Factor VIIa in high concentrations binds to thrombin-activated platelets and is capable of activating factor X, thereby generating thrombin independent of the presence of factor VIII or factor IX. Accordingly, rFVIIa has been shown to initiate hemostasis in severe hemophilila patients with inhibitors subjected to major surgery and suffering from serious limb- and life-threatening bleeding. Since rFVIIa enhances thrombin generation-thereby providing the formation of tight, stable fibrin hemostatic plugs resistance to premature lysis-it should be hemostatic in other situations characterized by impaired thrombin generation. A hemostatic effect has been reported in patients with various platelet disorders and factor XI deficiency. Further, a hemostatic effect of rFVIIa has been reported in patients subjected to trauma and extensive surgery who have developed profuse, excessive bleeding resulting in hemodilution and changes in coagulation patterns. rFVIIa was developed to treat bleeding in hemophilia patients with inhibitors against factor VIII or factor IX and has been shown to induce effective hemostasis in most such patients and also in life- and limb-threatening bleeding. It has also been used successfully to stop bleeding in patients who do not have hemophilia but who do have acquired antibodies against factor VIII (acquired hemophilia). rFVIIa initiates hemostasis by forming a complex with TF exposed as a result of vessel wall injury. Pharmacologic doses of rFVIIa can enhance thrombin generation on platelets that are already thrombin-activated, resulting in the formation of full thrombin burst. By enhancing thrombin generation, rFVIIa helps to form tight, stable, fibrin plugs resistant to premature fibrinolysis. This also maintains hemostasis in the absence of factor VIII or factor IX. Pharmacologic doses of rFVIIa may accordingly be of benefit in producing hemostasis in situations other than hemophilia characterized by profuse bleeding and impaired thrombin generation. There is now clinical experience indicating a hemostatic effect in patients with thrombocytopenia and functional platelet defects. rFVIIa has also been successfully used in acute trauma patients with profuse bleedings and in other bleeding situations.

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    • "Prothrombin complex concentrates that contain Factors II, IX, X, and VII have also been shown to be effective [105]. Recombinant Factor VIIa (rFVIIa) (NovoSeven) may be used in patients who have congenital or acquired hemophilia, and those in whom inhibiting antibodies toward Factors VIII or IX have formed [105] [106] [107] [108]. In such patients , where there is risk of death caused by uncontrollable bleeding during emergency surgery or in limb-threatening hemorrhages such as hemarthroses and muscle hematomas, treatment should be aimed at bypassing inadequate levels of Factors VIII and IX and the other factors contained in the intrinsic pathway, and should instead rely upon rFVIIa infusions to bind directly or in conjunction with tissue factor to negatively charged phospholipids exposed on the surface of activated platelets [109] [110]. "
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