Impact of fibrinogen concentration in severely ill patients on mechanical properties of whole blood clots.

First Department of Medicine, Germany bDepartment of Anaesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care, University Hospital of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.
Blood coagulation & fibrinolysis: an international journal in haemostasis and thrombosis (Impact Factor: 1.25). 12/2008; 19(8):765-70. DOI: 10.1097/MBC.0b013e32830f1b68
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fibrinogen concentration influences mechanical and functional properties of the clot. The purpose of the present study was to identify threshold concentrations of fibrinogen resulting in relevant changes in whole blood clot elastic modulus and platelet contractile force, as well as plasma prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time. We measured clot elastic modulus, platelet contractile force, and other hemostasis parameters in whole blood samples from 552 patients admitted to a surgical intensive care unit. Platelet contractile force and clot elastic modulus were measured using the Hemodyne apparatus. Fibrinogen levels were between less than 0.10 and 9.44 g/l, with a mean of 2.41 g/l. Mean platelet count was 203 x 10(9) l(-1), with a range of 16 x 10(9) l(-1) to 682 x 10(9) l(-1). High levels of fibrinogen result in improved mechanical stability and improved interaction of platelets with the fibrin network. Clot elastic modulus and platelet contractile force are correlated positively with plasma fibrinogen concentration. However, there was no threshold concentration or ceiling effect concerning the mechanical properties of the clots. In contrast, clotting time assays such as prothrombin time, thrombin time, or activated partial thromboplastin time are influenced by the fibrinogen concentration only at levels below 1 g/l. In linear regression analysis, clot elastic modulus was mainly influenced by fibrinogen concentration (F = 185.4, P < 0.0001), whereas platelet contractile force was influenced by fibrinogen (F = 197.0, P < 0.0001) and platelet count (F = 104.7, P < 0.0001). The present data show that 1 g/l is a threshold fibrinogen concentration for an effect on coagulation assays such as prothrombin time, thrombin time, or activated partial thromboplastin time, but increasing fibrinogen concentrations above this level results in further continuous improvement of mechanical properties of the whole blood clot.

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    ABSTRACT: Highly sensitive methods for the assessment of clot structure can aid in our understanding of coagulation disorders and their risk factors. Rapid and simple clot diagnostic systems are also needed for directing treatment in a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. Here we demonstrate a method for micro-elastometry, named resonant acoustic spectroscopy with optical vibrometry (RASOV), which measures the clot elastic modulus (CEM) from the intrinsic resonant frequency of a clot inside a microwell. We observed a high correlation between the CEM of human blood measured by RASOV and a commercial thromboelastograph (TEG), (R = 0.966). Unlike TEG, RASOV requires only 150 μL of sample and offers improved repeatability. Since CEM is known to primarily depend upon fibrin content and network structure, we investigated the CEM of purified clots formed with varying amounts of fibrinogen and thrombin. We found that RASOV was sensitive to changes of fibrinogen content (0.5-6 mg/mL), as well as to the amount of fibrinogen converted to fibrin during clot formation. We then simulated plasma hypercoagulability via hyperfibrinogenemia by spiking whole blood to 150 and 200% of normal fibrinogen levels, and subsequently found that RASOV could detect hyperfibrinogenemia-induced changes in CEM and distinguish these conditions from normal blood.
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