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A lower fibrinogen threshold does not lead to increased bleeding risk in patients receiving therapeutic plasma exchange: A prospective single-center analysis.

Transfusion 2024 May 10
BACKGROUND: Plasma exchange (PLEX) therapy is indicated for several disorders. The 5% albumin is often used as a sole replacement fluid during most PLEX. However, each 1.0 plasma volume exchange depletes coagulation factors by ~65%. Although most coagulation factors recover to hemostatic levels within 24 h post-PLEX, fibrinogen requires 48-72 h to recover. Fibrinogen is the key coagulation protein for hemostasis. Therefore, fibrinogen is often monitored during the acute course of PLEX, and plasma is supplemented to prevent bleeding if fibrinogen is <100 mg/dL.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective, single-center, observational study to evaluate bleeding risk in adults who received an acute course of PLEX with a fibrinogen level of 80-100 mg/dL without plasma supplementation during the procedure or before central venous catheter removal. The study group was compared to patients with plasma fibrinogen >100 mg/dL.

RESULTS: Among the 275 patients who received 1406 PLEXes, 62 patients (23%) who underwent 323 PLEXes met the inclusion criteria, and only 2 (3%) patients had bleeding while on oral anticoagulants. In contrast, out of 275 patients, 143 (52%) with fibrinogen levels >100 mg/dL received 751 PLEX treatments, and bleeding occurred in 2 (1%) while on low-molecular-weight heparin.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a pre-procedure fibrinogen threshold of 80-100 mg/dL without plasma supplementation does not increase bleeding risk unless patients were on anticoagulation.

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