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Anesth Analg. 2014 Sep;119(3):533-42. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000333.

Assessment of early thromboelastometric variables from extrinsically activated assays with and without aprotinin for rapid detection of fibrinolysis.

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From the Klinik für Anästhesiologie und Intensivmedizin, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Essen, Germany.



Although thromboelastometry (ROTEM®) and thrombelastography can be used for bedside diagnosis of fibrinolysis, the time needed for detection is often prolonged. Since untreated fibrinolysis can result in consumption of coagulation factors and bleeding, early diagnosis and decision making are desirable. Accordingly, we assessed ROTEM variables from extrinsically activated assays with (APTEM) and without (EXTEM) addition of aprotinin for their ability to rapidly identify fibrinolysis. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that prolonged clotting time, clot formation time, low clot firmness (at 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes, designated A5, A10, A15, and A20, respectively), low maximum clot firmness (MCF) in EXTEM assays, and differences in these variables from parallel APTEM and EXTEM assays (designated as Δvariables) predict fibrinolysis.


Data from 411 thromboelastometric measurements (obtained from 352 patients) with fibrinolysis and from 2537 measurements without fibrinolysis (obtained from 1605 patients) were assessed and analyzed using receiver operating characteristics. Data were analyzed as a pooled fibrinolysis cohort, and subanalyses were performed from sets assigned to categories of fibrinolysis related to the timing of thrombus lysis (i.e., a decrease of clot firmness to <15% of MCF within 30, 45, and 60 minutes, respectively). A lower 95% confidence limit of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC [SE] <0.6) was considered a failure to substantially improve detection of increased fibrinolysis. AUCs were compared to identify the variable providing the best predictive association with fibrinolysis. As a secondary end point, optimum cutoff values at the point estimate corresponding to the greatest Youden index were calculated along with the respective sensitivities and specificities.


In the pooled cohort, clot formation time (AUC: 0.652 [0.016]), α-angle (AUC: 0.675 [0.015]), A5 (AUC: 0.718 [0.013]), A10 (AUC: 0.734 [0.0.13]), A15 (AUC: 0.752 [0.013]), A20 (AUC: 0.771 [0.013]), and MCF (AUC: 0.799 [0.012]) predicted fibrinolysis. Fibrinolysis was also predicted by ΔA15 (AUC: 0.675 [0.016]), ΔA20 (AUC: 0.719 [0.015]), and ΔMCF (AUC: 0.812 [0.013]). AUCs increased in a time-related fashion. The ability to predict subsequent fibrinolysis based on thromboelastometry was higher when it occurred early rather than later during testing. However, for prediction of late fibrinolysis, only MCF (AUC: 0.655 [0.025]) appears to be potentially clinically useful.


Low early values of clot firmness in extrinsically activated thromboelastometric assays are associated with fibrinolysis and improve its early detection. Additional assays with aprotinin fail to improve the early diagnosis of fibrinolysis compared with assays without aprotinin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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