Skip to content


Critical Care

Volume 3 Supplement 2

International Symposium on the Pathophysiology of Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Open Access

Regulation of platelet-leukocyte interaction in simulated ECC: attenuation with heparin surface modification

  • F-X Schmid1,
  • YH Choi1,
  • X Zhou1,
  • M Hilker1,
  • P Habermehl1,
  • F Zepp1 and
  • H Oelert1
Critical Care19993(Suppl 2):P09

Published: 2 March 1999


HeparinPlatelet ActivationRespiratory BurstNeutrophil ActivationExtracorporeal Circulation


Blood exposure to artificial surfaces results in blood cell activation. The present study analyses the impact of heparin immobilisation in a model of simulated extracorporeal circulation SECC on leukocyte and platelet activation, expression of surface markers and adhesion receptors, as well as on leukocyte-platelet interaction.


Fresh heparinized human blood was recirculated in in vitro cardiopulmonary bypass circuits (untreated: n = 10; coated n = 10; randomized, blinded for group affiliation). Samples were taken before and 15, 30, 60, 120, and 180 min after commencement of circulation. By means of flow cytometry neutrophil activation (respiratory burst; expression of CD11b), platelet activation (GpIb and GMP140 expression), as well as numbers of monocytes/PMNs binding platelets were assessed.


Blood cell activation and interaction demonstrated ECC-dependent dynamics. SECC produced significant PMN activation and platelet GMP140 expression. Monocytes bound more platelets and at an faster rate than PMNs. In the group with heparin-coated surfaces PMN activation was significantly reduced, GMP140 expression less upregulated and leukocyte-platelet adhesion diminished.


Heparin coating in SECC reduces neutrophil and platelet activation and attenuates leukocyte-platelet adhesion. These studies indicate that there are cross-links between hemostatic and inflammatory disorders associated with ECC.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospitals, Mainz, Germany


© Current Science Ltd 1999