ε-Aminocaproic acid (EACA) has been used to prevent rebleeding in patients with intracranial aneurysms because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and is an inhibitor of fibrinolysis. Recommended doses have ranged from 24 to 48 g/day. We now describe an inhibitory effect on platelet function at the higher dose range. In vitro, a dose-dependent inhibition of adenosine diphosphate- and collagen-induced platelet aggregation was observed with concentrations of EACA beginning at 7.6 mM. In vivo, prolongation of the template bleeding time was observed in all eight patients receiving 48 g/day (>20 minutes in four), in all five on 36 g/day (>20 minutes in three), and in none of seven on smaller doses. More importantly, rebleeding and excessive intraoperative bleeding (requiring more than 1 litre of blood replacement) occurred predominantly in patients receiving the larger doses of EACA. Within 48 hours of the discontinuation of EACA, the bleeding times reurned to normal values in all but one patient. We conclude that EACA exerts a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on platelet function and that patients receiving doses in excess of 24 g/day may be at risk of serious bleeding. Patients receiving EACA should be monitored with serial bleeding time tests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology