Hemodynamic changes have been documented during protamine infusion into heparinized but not unheparinized pigs and suggest that a protamine-heparin interaction might be responsible. This hypothesis was tested in four groups of pigs by varying the dosage and order of administration of these two drugs: Group I (n = 9) received heparin (3 mg/kg) followed by protamine (3 mg/kg); Group II (n = 9) received protamine (3 mg/kg) followed by heparin (3 mg/kg); Group III (n = 9) received protamine (25 mg/kg) followed by heparin (3 mg/kg); and Group IV (n = 16) received protamine-heparin complex (protamine 3 mg/kg and heparin 3 mg/kg mixed immediately prior to injection). Systemic and pulmonary arterial pressures, systemic and pulmonary vascular resistances, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, central venous pressure, cardiac output, and heart rate were measured before and at 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, and 15 minutes after protamine, heparin, or protamine-heparin complex infusions. Immediately following protamine infusion, Group I pigs exhibited transiently but significantly increased pulmonary artery pressure, pulmonary vascular resistance, systemic vascular resistance, and central venous pressure and decreased cardiac output with (Group Ib, n = 5) or without (Group Ia, n = 4) systemic hypotension. The fact that no hemodynamic changes occurred in Group II confirms that infusion of clinical doses of protamine produces no hemodynamic changes in unheparinized pigs. Protamine alone in high doses (Group III) produced hemodynamic changes similar to clinical-dose protamine reversal of heparin (Group I). This effect suggests that the presence of heparin in the circulation lowers the threshold for protamine-mediated hemodynamic responses. Infusion of heparin (3 mg/kg) into pigs 15 min after treatment with high (25 mg/kg) (Group III) but not clinical (3 mg/kg) (Group II) doses of protamine produced hemodynamic effects similar to clinical-dose protamine reversal of heparin (Group I), suggesting that a protamine-heparin interaction may be responsible. These results also suggest a rapid inactivation in vivo of clinical doses (3 mg/kg) (Group II) of infused protamine. Protamine-heparin complex formed in vitro (Group IV) also produced hemodynamic changes similar to clinical-dose protamine reversal of heparin (Group I), suggesting that formation of this complex in vivo may be the protamine-heparin interaction responsible. Protamine-heparin complex may well be a useful tool in further elucidating the full effects of protamine reversal of heparin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine