Matevosyan K, Madden C, Barnett SL, Beshay JE, Rutherford C, Sarode R. Coagulation factor levels in neurosurgical patients with mild prolongation of prothrombin time: effect on plasma transfusion therapy

Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Journal of Neurosurgery (Impact Factor: 3.74). 01/2011; 114(1):3-7. DOI: 10.3171/2010.7.JNS091699
Source: PubMed


Neurosurgical patients often have mildly prolonged prothrombin time (PT) or international normalized ratio (INR). In the absence of liver disease this mild prolongation appears to be due to the use of very sensitive PT reagents. Therefore, the authors performed relevant coagulation factor assays to assess coagulopathy in such patients. They also compared plasma transfusion practices in their hospital before and after the study.
The authors tested 30 plasma specimens from 25 patients with an INR of 1.3-1.7 for coagulation factors II, VII, and VIII. They also evaluated plasma orders during the 5-month study period and compared them with similar poststudy periods following changes in plasma transfusion guidelines based on the study results.
At the time of plasma orders the median INR was 1.35 (range 1.3-1.7, normal reference range 0.9-1.2) with a corresponding median PT of 13.6 seconds (range 12.8-17.6 seconds). All partial thromboplastin times were normal (median 29.0 seconds, range 19.3-33.7 seconds). The median factor VII level was 57% (range 25%-124%), whereas the hemostatic levels recommended for major surgery are 15%-25%. Factors II and VIII levels were also within the hemostatic range (median 72% and 118%, respectively). Based on these scientific data, plasma transfusion guidelines were modified and resulted in a 75%-85% reduction in plasma orders for mildly prolonged INR over the next 2 years.
Neurosurgical patients with a mild prolongation of INR (up to 1.7) have hemostatically normal levels of important coagulation factors, and the authors recommend that plasma not be transfused to simply correct this abnormal laboratory value.

Download full-text


Available from: Samuel L Barnett, Oct 10, 2015
63 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acquired coagulopathies are often detected by laboratory investigation in clinical practice. There is a poor correlation between mild to moderate abnormalities of laboratory test and bleeding tendency. Patients who are bleeding due to coagulopathy are often managed with various blood components including plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate. However, prophylactic transfusion of these products in a nonbleeding patient to correct mild to moderate abnormality of a coagulation test especially preprocedure is not evidence-based. This article reviews the management of bleeding due to oral anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, disseminated intravascular coagulation, chronic liver disease, and trauma.
    American Journal of Hematology 05/2012; 87 Suppl 1(S1):S56-62. DOI:10.1002/ajh.23179 · 3.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a chronic disease with a 30% ten-year recurrence rate. The highest incidence of recurrence is in the first 6 months. Active cancer significantly increases the hazard of early recurrence, and the proportions of time on standard heparin with an APTT ≥ 0.2 anti-X(a) U/mL, and on warfarin with an INR ≥ 2.0, significantly reduce the hazard. The acute treatment duration does not affect recurrence risk after treatment is stopped. Independent predictors of late recurrence include increasing patient age and body mass index, leg paresis, active cancer and other persistent VTE risk factors, idiopathic VTE, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, antithrombin, protein C or protein S deficiency, hyperhomocysteinemia and a persistently increased plasma fibrin D-dimer. A recommendation for secondary prophylaxis should be individualized based on the risk for recurrent VTE (especially fatal pulmonary embolism) and bleeding. The appropriateness of secondary prophylaxis should be continuously reevaluated, and the prophylaxis stopped if the benefit no longer exceeds the risk.
    American Journal of Hematology 05/2012; 87 Suppl 1(S1):S63-7. DOI:10.1002/ajh.23128 · 3.80 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Object: The authors performed a study to evaluate whether preoperative assessment of prothrombin time (PT) is mandatory in patients undergoing routinely planned neurosurgical procedures. Methods: The charts of all patients admitted to general wards of the authors' department for routinely planned surgery (excluding trauma and ICU patients) between 2006 and 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. The authors assessed preoperative PT and the clinical courses of all patients, with special consideration for patients receiving coagulation factor substitution. All cases involving hemorrhagic complications were analyzed in detail with regard to pre- and postoperative PT abnormalities. Prothrombin time was expressed as the international normalized ratio, and values greater than 1.28 were regarded as elevated. Results: Clinical courses and PT values of 4310 patients were reviewed. Of these, 33 patients (0.7%) suffered hemorrhagic complications requiring repeat surgery. Thirty-one patients (94%) had a normal PT before the initial operation, while 2 patients had slightly elevated PT values of 1.33 and 1.65, which were anticipated based on the patient's history. In the latter 2 cases, surgery was performed without prior correction of PT. Preoperatively, PT was elevated in 78 patients (1.8%). In 73 (93.6%) of the 78 patients, the PT elevation was expected and explained by each patient's medical history. In only 5 (0.1%) of 4310 patients did we find an unexpected PT elevation (mean 1.53, range 1.37-1.74). All 5 patients underwent surgery without complications, while 2 had received coagulation factor substitution preoperatively, as requested by the surgeon, because of an estimated risk of bleeding complications. None of the 5 patients received coagulation factor substitution postoperatively, and later detailed laboratory studies ruled out single coagulation factor deficiencies. There was no statistically significant association between preoperatively elevated PT levels and the occurrence of hemorrhagic complications (p = 0.12). Before the second procedure but not before the initial operation, 4 (12%) of the 33 patients had elevated PT. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the value of preoperative PT testing is limited in patients in whom a normal history can be ascertained. Close postoperative PT control is necessary in every neurosurgical patient, and better tests need to be developed to identify patients who are prone to hemorrhagic complications.
    Neurosurgical FOCUS 11/2012; 33(5):E9. DOI:10.3171/2012.7.FOCUS12219 · 2.11 Impact Factor
Show more