Fibrinogen-based clot firmness is reported as the maximum amplitude (MA) when using the citrated functional fibrinogen (CFF) assay in thrombelastography (TEG), and as the maximum clot firmness (MCF) together with several clot amplitude parameters when using the FIBTEM assay in thromboelastometry (ROTEM). Concern is currently being raised that these two tests have different platelet inhibiting performance and consequently provide different values. This is relevant for the clinical setting of fibrinogen replacement. We aim herein to compare the parameters of these two fibrinogen-based clot quality tests and their correlation with the plasma fibrinogen level as determined by the Clauss method.Methods:
In total 261 whole blood samples taken from 163 clinical routine surgical patients were analyzed with TEG 5000 and ROTEM tests, and correlation with Clauss fibrinogen level was assessed.Results:
Using TEG, the overall fibrin-based clot firmness measured in the CFF assay was significantly higher than the MCF measured by FIBTEM assay. Both assays showed significantly positive correlations with the fibrinogen levels measured using the Clauss method. However, individual values of Clauss fibrinogen concentration corresponded with different values for the two viscoelastometric tests; e.g. within the range of 1.9–2.1 g/L Clauss fibrinogen the median of CFF MA was 16.3 mm whereas FIBTEM MCF was 12.0 mm.Conclusions:
We showed herein by measurements of citrated whole blood samples from surgical patients that CFF MA values were different from FIBTEM MCF values measured in the same sample. Awareness that these whole blood assays provide different clot amplitude results is mandatory, particularly if they are being considered as tools for guiding fibrinogen supplementation. Thromboembolic side effects caused by a potentially too high fibrinogen substitution must also kept in mind in this context.