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Anti-clotting agent does not improve outcomes of patients with severe pneumonia
Date:2/22/2011

Use of the blood clot-inhibiting medication tifacogin does not appear to improve outcomes of patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia (sCAP), according to a study conducted by researchers from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The drug had shown some potential benefit in the sCAP subgroup of an earlier trial involving sepsis patients.

The findings were published online ahead of the print edition of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"Administration of tifacogin showed no treatment benefit in this large population of patients with severe CAP,"said Richard Wunderink, MD, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "This result was consistent across a range of disease severity indices."

In the U.S., community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is the eighthleading cause of death, with a death rate of 18.8/100,000. The number of individuals hospitalized with CAP annually is expected to increase up to 1 million in 2020, with similar trends in many other countries due to the disproportionate growth of the elderly population. Globally, intensive care unit mortality in patients admitted with sCAP is about 30%.

In most sCAP patients, the blood clotting system is activated as part of the response to infection, in some cases interfering with circulation and leading to multiple organ failure. Researchers hope reducing this excess clottingthrough use of anticoagulants in individuals with sCAP may prevent organ failure.

Tifacoginacts by blocking activated tissue factor, an essential for clot formation. In aprior trial of sepsis patients, tifacogin had shown some benefit for patients in that trial who had CAP. Based on those results, Dr. Wunderink said researchers involved in this study, dubbed CAPTIVATE (Community-Acquired Pneumonia Tifacogin Intra-Venous Administration Trial for Efficacy),
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Contact: Brian Kell
bkell@thoracic.org
212-316-6442
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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