Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Thromboelastometry in critically ill patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation

Müller, Marcella C.A.a; Meijers, Joost C.b,c; van Meenen, David M.a; Thachil, Jeckod; Juffermans, Nicole P.a

Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis: July 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 181–187
doi: 10.1097/MBC.0000000000000808

Coagulopathy has a high incidence in critically ill patients and is often caused by disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Although the clinical picture of DIC ranges from a prothrombotic state to severe consumption coagulopathy with an increased bleeding tendency, there are no clinical tests that reflect of in-vivo hemostatic profile. Rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) may be able to indicate whether a patient has a hypocoagulable or hypercoagulable profile and possibly be able to discriminate patients with and without DIC. The aim of this article was to study the diagnostic ability of thromboelastometry to detect DIC. A predefined subgroup analysis of a clinical trial in critically ill patients with a coagulopathy was done. ROTEM and markers of coagulation and levels of natural anticoagulants were measured in patients with and without DIC. Twenty-three patients were included, 13 fulfilled criteria for overt DIC. Patients with DIC had lower platelet count, lower levels of fibrinogen, factors II, VII and VIII compared with those without DIC. Antithrombin, protein C and S were also reduced in DIC patients. Receiver operator characteristic analyses showed that EXTEM CFT, alpha angle and MCF were capable of discriminating patients with and without DIC. Combination of ROTEM values with protein C or antithrombin further improved discriminatory ability. In patients with DIC, thromboelastometry profiles were more hypocoagulable compared with those without DIC. ROTEM correlates well with ISTH DIC score, diagnostic strength improves when ROTEM values are combined with antithrombin or protein C levels. Thereby, ROTEM may be a useful tool in diagnosing DIC in the critically ill.

aDepartment of Intensive Care Medicine

bDepartment of Experimental Vascular Medicine, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam

cDepartment of Molecular and Cellular Hemostasis, Sanquin, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

dDepartment of Haematology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom

Correspondence to Marcella C.A. Müller, MD, PhD, Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands Tel: +31 20 5662876; fax: +31 20 5669568; e-mail:

Received 11 April, 2019

Revised 12 April, 2019

Accepted 12 April, 2019

Copyright © 2019 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.