Neutralization of low molecular weight heparin by polybrene prevents thromboxane release and severe pulmonary hypertension in awake sheep.
Protamine reversal of heparin anticoagulation in patients is occasionally associated with life-threatening acute pulmonary hypertension. In a sheep model, we evaluated the effect on this adverse cardiopulmonary reaction of modifying the type of heparin (low molecular weight heparin compared with unfractionated heparin) and the type of heparin antagonist (polybrene compared with protamine). Protamine reversal of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and polybrene reversal of unfractionated heparin induced more than a 10-fold increase of plasma thromboxane B2 levels, a threefold increase of pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary artery pressure, and a 25% decrease of PaO2. A similar adverse reaction followed protamine reversal of conventional unfractionated heparin. However, with polybrene (1 mg/kg) reversal of LMWH (1 mg/kg), we measured neither pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary artery pressure was 22.6 +/- 3.6 mm Hg at 1 minute after polybrene reversal of LMWH compared with 47.9 +/- 4.2 mm Hg after protamine reversal of unfractionated heparin, p less than 0.005 groups differ), hypoxemia (PaO2 was unchanged 2 minutes after polybrene compared with a decrease of 26 mm Hg 2 minutes after protamine, p less than 0.05), nor acute release of thromboxane into arterial plasma (thromboxane B2 was 0.2 +/- 0.1 at 1 minute after polybrene compared with 3.7 +/- 1.7 ng/ml at 1 minute after protamine, p less than 0.005). The hemodynamic effects and mediator release were also benign after neutralization of larger doses of LMWH (3 mg/kg) by polybrene (3 mg/kg). The increases of activated clotting time and activated partial thromboplastin time due to both types of heparin were completely reversed with polybrene. Anti-Xa activity increased to more than 3 IU/ml 4 minutes after LMWH anticoagulation (p less than 0.01) but was only partially neutralized by polybrene. Various polyanion-polycation complexes that are formed when heparin anticoagulation is reversed induce thromboxane release and acute pulmonary vasoconstriction in awake sheep. Reversal of LMWH anticoagulation with polybrene does not elicit this adverse reaction.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association