JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Tailoring haemostatic treatment to patient requirements - an update on monitoring haemostatic response using thrombelastography

B Sørensen, J Ingerslev
Haemophilia: the Official Journal of the World Federation of Hemophilia 2005, 11: 1-6
16219042
Currently, there is no single haemostasis laboratory test that has the capacity to accurately illustrate the clinical effects of procoagulant or anticoagulant interventions. Although the time course of thrombin generation in plasma and the endogenous thrombin potential (ETP) may be useful coagulation parameters, clotting involves components other than thrombin (e.g. platelets, fibrinogen). The continuous coagulation profiles of thrombelastography may provide a more accurate reflection of in vivo biology, covering initiation, development and final clot strength during whole blood clot formation. This method has helped to clarify the mechanism of action of whole blood clot formation, demonstrating the differences from clotting in plasma, and the importance of platelets and tissue factor titrations. It has also been used to investigate hypocoagulation (in haemophilia A, rare coagulation disorders, anticoagulant therapy and dilutional coagulopathy), hypercoagulation and the ex vivo testing of haemostatic interventions. Thrombelastography has been shown to reflect the clinical efficacy of activated prothrombin complex concentrate (aPCC) and recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) in patients with haemophilia A with inhibitors and in patients with acquired haemophilia. Overall, tailoring laboratory assays to illustrate and correlate with clinical phenotypes is essential for effective coagulation monitoring. Applying an algorithm of preoperative, perioperative and postoperative tests, including thrombelastography, may enable physicians to achieve this.

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