Clinical application of disposable heparin sensors. Blood heparin measurements during open heart surgery

J. H. Yun, L. M. Lee, J. A. Wahr, B. Fu, M. E. Meyerhoff, V. C. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The authors previously reported the development of an ion selective electrode type heparin sensor consisting of a specially formulated polymer membrane doped with tridodecylmethylammonium chloride as the heparin complexing agent. They also demonstrated the feasibility of measuring blood heparin levels by protamine titration, using a disposable copper wire sensor coated with the heparin sensing membrane to probe the titration end point. In this article, the results of further titration studies conducted on 44 clinical whole blood specimens obtained from 8 patients undergoing open heart surgery were reviewed. Samples were taken from patients at four different stages during the bypass surgery: 1) before heparin administration; 2) immediately after heparin administration; 3) within 30 min to 3 hr after heparin administration; and 4) within 30 min after protamine administration. Heparin anticoagulant activity in these samples was monitored by the activated clotting time assay, whereas heparin concentrations were measured by protamine titration using either the Hepcon HMS Titrator (Medtronic HemoTec Inc., Englewood, CO) or the coated wire heparin sensor to determine titration end points. Results indicate that heparin levels determined by the sensor method were in good agreement with those determined by the Hepcon HMS Titrator. When the heparin concentrations estimated by the two methods show significant discrepancy (> 1.0 unit/ml), the sensor method seems to provide more precise values, as verified by an additional chromogenic heparin assay. The overall time required to complete the titration process and heparin measurement with a pre made heparin sensor was less than 3 min. Clinically, the heparin sensor could be used as a safeguard to precisely monitor heparin levels during surgical procedures. Alternatively, the sensor could be used to assess the accurate protamine dose required for full heparin reversal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M661-M664
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


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