Purpose: Thromboelastography (TEG) has been recommended to characterize post-traumatic coagulopathy, yet no study has evaluated the impact of pre-injury anticoagulation (AC) on TEG variables. We hypothesized patients on pre-injury AC have a greater incidence of coagulopathy on TEG compared to those without AC. Methods: This retrospective chart review evaluated all trauma patients admitted to an urban, level one trauma center from February 2011 to September 2014 who received a TEG within the first 24. h. Patients were classified as receiving pre-injury AC or no AC if their documented medications prior to admission included warfarin, dabigatran, or anti-Xa (aXa) inhibitors (apixaban or rivaroxaban). The presence of coagulopathy on TEG or conventional assays was defined by exceeding local laboratory reference standards. Results: A total of 54 patients were included (AC, n = 27 [warfarin n = 13, dabigatran n = 6, aXa inhibitor n = 8] vs. no AC, n = 27). Baseline characteristics were similar between groups, including age (72. ±. 13. years vs. 72. ±. 15; p = 0.85), male gender (70% vs. 74%; p = 0.76) and blunt mechanism of injury (100% vs. 100%; p = 1). There was no difference in the number of patients determined to have coagulopathy on TEG (no AC 11% vs. AC 15%; p = 0.99). Conventional tests, including the international normalized ratio (INR) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), identified coagulopathy in a high proportion of anti-coagulated patients (no AC 22% vs. AC 85%; p. <. 0.01). Conclusion: TEG has limited clinical utility to evaluate the presence of pre-injury AC. Traditional markers of drug induced coagulopathy should guide reversal decisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine