Comparison of standard fibrinogen measurement methods with fibrin clot firmness assessed by thromboelastometry in patients with cirrhosis
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Background: The Clauss fibrinogen method and thrombin clotting time (TCT) are still routinely used in patients with cirrhosis to define fibrinogen concentration and clotting potential. The thromboelastometric functional fibrinogen FIBTEM assay evaluates the strength of fibrin-based clots in whole blood, providing information on both quantitative deficit and fibrin polymerization disorders. Objective: To compare these three methods of assessing fibrinogen in patients with cirrhosis of different aetiologies, characterized by impairment in fibrinogen concentration as well as functional aberrance. Methods: Sixty patients with alcoholic and 24 patients with cholestatic cirrhosis were included (Child-Pugh score (CPs) A, n = 24; B, n = 32; C, n = 28). All parameters were compared with those from a control group. Maximum clot firmness (MCF) in the FIBTEM test was assessed in regard to its relevance in detection of qualitative fibrinogen disorders in comparison with results obtained by standard... measurement methods, i.e. the Clauss fibrinogen method and TCT. Results: With increased cirrhosis severity, fibrinogen and FIBTEM-MCF levels significantly declined (p = 0.002), while TCT was significantly prolonged (p = 0.002). In all CPs groups, fibrinogen strongly correlated with FIBTEM-MCF (r = 0.77, r = 0.72, r = 0.74; p lt 0.001), while cross-correlations of other assays were highly variable. The prevalence of decreased FIBTEM-MCF values ( lt 9 mm) was significantly higher in advanced CPs categories (p = 0.027), whereby the highest prevalence was detected in patients with CPsC (10/16; 62.5%). Nine of the 16 patients with decreased FIBTEM-MCF values had also decreased fibrinogen levels, while in the remaining 7 patients fibrinogen levels were within the reference range, indicating the possible presence of qualitatively altered fibrinogen that could be detected by FIBTEM-MCF. Conclusions: FIBTEM-MCF may be considered as a reliable alternative to standard plasma fibrinogen measurement in cirrhotic patients, especially in evaluating fibrin polymerization disorders in these patients. Further studies are needed to evaluate the usefulness of this assay in predicting bleeding complications in cirrhotic patients as well as monitoring replacement treatment.
Keywords:Fibrinogen / Standard measurement methods / Thromboelastometry / Cirrhosis
Source:Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2015, 135, 6, 1124-1130
- Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, Oxford