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Rotational Thromboelastometry or Conventional Coagulation Tests in Liver Transplantation: Comparing Blood Loss, Transfusions, and Cost

Laura Smart, Khalid Mumtaz, Danielle Scharpf, Nicole O, Daniel Traetow, Sylvester Black, Anthony J. Michaels, Elmahdi Elkhammas, Robert Kirkpatrick, A. James Hanje


Introduction. Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) can be associated with significant bleeding requiring multiple blood product transfusions. Rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) is a point-of-care device that has been used to monitor coagulation during OLT. Whether it reduces blood loss/transfusions during OLT remains controversial. Materials and methods. We aim to compare ROTEM with conventional coagulation tests (aPTT, PT, INR, platelet count, fibrinogen) to guide transfusion of platelets, cryoprecipitate, and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) during OLT over 3 years. Thirty-four patients who had transfusions guided by ROTEM were compared to 34 controls who received transfusions guided by conventional coagulation tests (CCT). Intraoperative blood loss, type/ amount of blood products transfused, and direct costs were compared between the two groups. Results. The ROTEM group had significantly less intra-operative blood loss (2.0 vs. 3.0 L, p = 0.04) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfusion (4 units vs. 6.5 units, p = 0.015) compared to the CCT group (2.0L vs. 3.0L, p = 0.04). However, total number of patients transfused cryoprecipitate was increased in ROTEM (n = 25;73%) as compared to CCT (n = 19; 56%), p = 0.033. The direct cost of blood products plus testing was reduced in the ROTEM group ($113,142.89 vs. $127,814.77). Conclusion. In conclusion implementation of a ROTEM-guided transfusion algorithm resulted in a reduction in intra-operative blood loss, FFP transfusion and a decrease in direct cost during OLT. ROTEM is a useful and safe point of care device in OLT setting.

Key words. ROTEM., Transplant., Transfusion., Blood products., Fresh frozen plasma.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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