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Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2005 Mar;9(1):41-52.

Evidence based coagulation monitors: heparin monitoring, thromboelastography, and platelet function.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.


The hemostatic management of patients undergoing cardiac surgery is a unique challenge. Since its inception, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) has required meticulous attention to maintaining adequate anticoagulation. New anticoagulants and alternative monitoring techniques present an opportunity to investigate potential advances in the area of anticoagulation for CPB. Hemostasis after CPB is still a vexing problem, and the addition of antiplatelet medication to the platelet defect already incurred during CPB has led to hemorrhagic complications in cardiac surgery. The two opposing processes of anticoagulation and hemostasis must be managed carefully and modified with respect to the patient's hematologic status and desired hemostatic outcome. Cardiac surgical patients consume a much larger fraction of perioperative blood transfusions than the percentage of the surgical population they represent. Thus, during CPB, careful attention must be paid to optimal anticoagulation, platelet quiescence, biocompatible circuitry and interventions, and to monitoring hemostasis. The multifactorial etiology of the CPB-induced hemostatic defect requires a multimodal approach to blood conservation and hemostasis monitoring, including heparin maintenance and sophisticated point-of-care hemostasis monitoring. Each technology has its own attributes and each may be suitable for different populations based upon the expected defects being measured. This article reviews the evidence supporting the use of point-of-care monitors in coagulation and hemostasis management in cardiac surgical patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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