Thromboelastography Parameters Are Associated with Cirrhosis Severity

Ruhail Kohli, Alexandra Shingina, Stephen New, Shruti Chaturvedi, Alexander Benson, Scott W. Biggins, Kiran Bambha

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Abstract

Background: Coagulopathy in cirrhosis represents complex coagulation derangements, and thromboelastography (TEG) measures these complex derangements. Aim: We sought to evaluate associations between TEG parameters and validated measures of cirrhosis severity, which have not been previously investigated. Materials and Methods: Adults with cirrhosis undergoing liver transplant (LT) were identified. Patients had TEG drawn immediately prior to LT. TEG parameters included reaction time (R), kinetic time (K), alpha angle (α), and maximum amplitude (MA). The validated measures of cirrhosis severity were MELD-Na and clinical stage of cirrhosis (classified using history of varices, variceal bleeding, or ascites). Multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the associations between TEG and stage of cirrhosis and MELD-Na. Results: Among 164 patients with cirrhosis, advancing stage of cirrhosis was associated with more hypocoagulable TEG parameters including longer K-time (p = 0.05) and lower MA (p < 0.001). Similarly, with increasing MELD-Na quartiles, K-time was longer (p < 0.001), and both MA and α-angle decreased (p < 0.001, for both). Variceal bleeding within 6 weeks prior to LT was associated with longer R-times (p = 0.02), longer K-times (p = 0.04), smaller α-angle (p = 0.03), and lower MA (p = 0.01). On multivariable analyses, decreasing MA remained statistically significantly associated with advancing stage of cirrhosis and increasing MELD-Na, after adjusting for multiple covariates including platelet count, (p = 0.02 and p < 0.0001, respectively). Conclusions: Hypocoagulable TEG measurements are associated with advancing stage of cirrhosis and increasing MELD-Na among patients with cirrhosis. These data indicate that TEG, as an informative measure of complex hemostatic function, may be a useful objective marker of liver disease severity in cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Blood coagulation disorders
  • End-stage liver disease
  • MELD-Na
  • Portal hypertension
  • TEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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