Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Robert P. Rosenow, PharmD, OD


Background: Aprotinin is a drug used to reduce postoperative bleeding in patients undergoing open heart surgery utilizing Cardiopulmonary Bypass. This serine protease inhibitor is isolated from bovine lung tissue, and is a nonspecific inhibitor of several proteinases, including trypsin, plasmin, and kallikrein. Thus, aprotinin has an antifibrinolytic effect, inhibits contact activation, reduces platelet dysfunction, and attenuates the inflammatory response to Cardiopulmonary Bypass. Currently, there exists an inadequate amount of data regarding the effect of aprotinin on patients with severe preoperative renal dysfunction who undergo open heart surgery, but not requiring dialysis.

Methods: Inclusion criteria were patients with preoperative renal insufficiency who had open-heart surgery with particular emphasis of postoperative renal insufficiency (serum creatinine > 1.5 mg/dl). Patients who received aprotinin treatment during the procedure are compared to those who did not. A total of294 medical records were reviewed retrospectively.

Results: Of the 294 patients reviewed, 204 received no aprotinin, 40 received a half dose, and 51 received a full dose. The mean estimate for pre-operative serum creatinine is 1.95 (.04) for the no aprotinin group, 2.06 (.08) for the half-dose group, and 2.02 (.08) for the full dose group (P>.05). Analysis of difference between the post-op creatinine and pre-op creatinine showed a small statistically significant increase (no aprotinin group: estimated difference 0.264, std (0 .06), t-value (4 .20), p «0.05); half dose aprotinin: 0.353 , std (0.142), t-value (2.49), p «0.05); full dose aprotinin: 0.506, std (0.12), t-value (4.04), p <0/05). Fourteen of the 34 diabetic patients (41.2%), twenty of the 52 hypertensive patients (38.5%), and nine of the 16 peripheral vascular patients (56.3%) who received aprotinin had postoperative creatinine increases of 0.5 mg/dl or more (p>0.5, not significant). The proportion of dialysis complications for patients receiving aprotinin (14%) is not significantly different from the proportion for patients not receiving aprotinin (7.7%) (Chi-square=2.8; 1 degree of freedom; Pvalue=0.096).

Conclusion: The aprotinin-treated patients appeared to suffer a slightly greater loss of renal function, though the differences between these groups are not statistically or clinically significant. Though the need for dialysis after surgery is not significantly different between patients who received aprotinin and those who did not, we did find a higher incidence of neurological complications in the patients who received aprotinin.


The digital version of this project is currently unavailable to off-campus users; however, it may be requested via interlibrary loan by eligible borrowers from Pacific University Library. Pacific University Library is a free lender. (Library Use: NL)