Two insulin dependent diabetics with previous anaphylactic like (anaphylactoid) reactions to protamine underwent successful cardiopulmonary bypass for coronary artery surgery. Platelet concentrates instead of protamine were used to neutralise their systemic heparinisation. In both cases the anaphylactoid reactions first became apparent after administration of protamine sulphate at the end of cardiac catheterisation. These cases show that adverse reactions to protamine need not be a contraindication to cardiopulmonary bypass and cardiac surgery and emphasise that this condition should be considered in all patients with a history of previous protamine exposure or one which may be associated with anaphylactoid reactions to protamine.
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