Aprotinin is a naturally occurring non-specific serine protease inhibitor with an elimination half-life of about 2 h ( Ro,y,S.t.0..n,.,1...9.9.0). It is a basic polypeptide of 58 amino acid residues and has a molecular weight of 6512 Da.
The major role of aprotinin in critical care practice is the prevention of bleeding associated with extracorporeal circulations. Prevention of systemic bleeding with aprotinin does not promote coagulation within the extracorporeal circulation and may even contribute to the maintenance of extracorporeal anticoagulation by prevention of contact-associated coagulation. In addition, the non-specific serine protease inhibition may inhibit components of the inflammatory response; this effect has been utilized in shock states.
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