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Coagulation parameters in very preterm infants.

The aim of this study was to define normal percentile values of coagulation parameters in preterm infants below 32 weeks of gestational age. This retrospective cohort study was conducted at Istanbul Medical Faculty. Preterm infants who were born prior to 32 weeks of gestation, between 2011 and 2021 were included and evaluated for coagulation parameters. Blood samples obtained through umbilical catheters prior to administration of heparinized flushes/fluids, vitamin K or fresh frozen plasma (FFP). Infants with a major bleeding disorder, intrapartum asphyxia or a history of familial bleeding disorders were excluded. Infants were grouped according to their gestational ages and birth weights: less than 24, 25-26, 27-28, 29-30, 31-32 weeks and <500, 500-749, 750-999, 1000-1249, 1250-1499, more than 1500 g. Third to 97th percentile values of both prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) were defined. A total of 420 preterm infants were included. The median value and range of gestational age and birth weight of the infants were 29 (22.3-32.9) weeks and 1150 (395-2790) g, respectively. PT values were similar between subgroups according to gestational age but longer in infants with a birth weight less than 1000 g. aPTT values in infants born less than 24 weeks of gestation were found significantly longer. As maturation of the coagulation system increases by gestational age, very preterm infants (<32 gestational week (GW)) are under increased risk of bleeding. Determination of normal percentile distribution of coagulation parameters for preterm infants will shed light on the interpretation of coagulation parameters of these infants and minimize unnecessary FFP administrations.

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