BACKGROUND: Inadequate or excess administration of unfractionated heparin for cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) can cause significant harm. Age-dependent differences in the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of heparin contribute to increased variability of heparin responsiveness in children. The aims of the current study were to (1) examine the correlation between predicted and observed heparin responsiveness in children before CPB measured using the Hemostasis Management System (HMS) Plus (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN), (2) describe age-specific reference intervals for heparin sensitivity index (HSI) observed in children, and (3) test predictive models of HSI using preoperative clinical and laboratory data.
METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, children (ages ≤17 years) who required therapeutic heparinization for CPB in a 40-month period between September 2010 and December 2013 were investigated. Children weighing ≥45 kg or with a height ≥142 cm were excluded. HSI was defined as the difference between activated clotting time after heparin administration and the baseline activated clotting time divided by the heparin-loading dose (IU) per kilogram. Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient was used for the primary analysis of the relationship between predicted and observed HSI. Reference intervals were calculated for HSI using medians and 2.5% and 97.5% percentiles according to established guidelines for clinical and laboratory standards. Nonparametric regression analyses were used to model the relationship between HSI (dependent variable) and preoperative covariates (independent variables).
RESULTS: A total of 1281 eligible children were included in the final analysis. Overall, there was a moderate correlation between predicted and observed HSI measured using HMS Plus System (rho_c = 0.46; 95% confidence interval, 0.41–0.50; P < .001). Sixty-five percent (829 of 1281) of predicted HSI values were less than observed. From adjusted regression models, HSI was best predicted by preoperative international normalized ratio, platelet count, and weight, but this model accounted for only 25% of the variance in HSI.
CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of children, heparin responsiveness before CPB was not reliably predicted by either in vitro measurement using the HMS Plus System or commonly available preoperative clinical and laboratory data. We describe age-specific reference intervals for HSI in children, and we anticipate that these data will aid the identification of heparin resistance in this population.