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Haemophilia. 2017 Jan 16. doi: 10.1111/hae.13136. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of the use of rotational thromboelastometry in the assessment of FXI deficency.

Author information

  • 1Department of Haematology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK.
  • 2Institute of Cancer Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 3Haematology Molecular Diagnostics Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK.
  • 4The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 5SHOT Office, Manchester Blood Centre, Manchester, UK.



The absence of a reliable clinical test to predict bleeding tendency leaves factor XI (FXI)-deficient individuals at risk of overtreatment or under treatment.


To assess whether rotational thromboelastometry has value in detection of FXI deficiency and identification of bleeding tendency.


Thromboelastometry was measured in whole blood and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) samples containing corn trypsin inhibitor (CTI) from controls (n = 50) and FXI-deficient individuals (n = 93) at tissue factor (TF) 0.12 pm. The effect of tissue plasminogen activator was also assessed. For analysis, FXI-deficient individuals were divided into bleeders (n = 24) and non-bleeders (n = 44) based on experience of tonsillectomy and/or dental extraction prior to diagnosis.


In whole blood, thromboelastometry distinguished those with major FXI deficiency (FXI:C ≤ 15 IU dL-1 ) but not partial deficiency from control populations, but did not identify bleeding phenotype. In PRP, bleeders had significantly longer clot formation time [CFT; 434 ± 179 s vs. 277 ± 70 s (mean ± SD); P < 0.05] and smaller α angle [43.8 ± 9.5° vs. 52.4 ± 5.8° (mean ± SD); P < 0.05] compared to non-bleeders. However, these parameters were found to depend on multiple additional variables and on an individual basis, ROC analysis showed test specificity for bleeding phenotype identification to be only 38.5% at 100% sensitivity: CFT (area under first derivative curve: AUC = 0.8091, P = 0.0014), α angle (AUC = 0.7804, P = 0.006).


Thromboelastometry in PRP with CTI samples triggered with TF 0.12 pm was able to distinguish between bleeders and non-bleeders in FXI deficiency, but poor specificity restricts its clinical application as a test to identify bleeding phenotype. Further technical advances to the assay may allow better discrimination.


bleeding disorder; blood coagulation; factor XI; factor XI deficiency; fibrinolysis; thromboelastometry

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