Article

How do we integrate thromboelastography with perioperative transfusion management?

From the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky.
Transfusion (Impact Factor: 3.53). 06/2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03728.x
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Thromboelastography (TEG) is a useful method of assessing perioperative coagulation function in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The presence of significant amounts of heparin in blood samples, however, prevents determination of changes in coagulation function by TEG or introduces artifactual error if samples contain heparin that is not present in vivo. For these reasons, whole blood coagulation function monitoring with TEG has not been feasible during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) with heparin anticoagulation. In this study, data obtained from 42 volunteers are presented to describe the effects of heparinase on TEG variables in the presence and absence of heparin. These data indicate that heparinase does not affect TEG parameters of whole blood not containing heparin and reverses the TEG effects of low levels of heparin contamination. Subsequently, 51 patients undergoing coronary artery surgery were studied using a modified TEG assay that incorporates in vitro application of heparinase to allow measurement of TEG parameters before, during, and after CPB. Heparinase-modified TEG assays facilitated diagnosis of heparin contamination in preoperative blood samples and permitted baseline TEG evaluation in patients receiving preoperative heparin infusions. Heparinase-modified TEG assays revealed declines in alpha and MA values during CPB, which persisted and significantly correlated with values after protamine infusion (alpha: r = 0.77, P = 0.001; MA: r = 0.78, P = 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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