Ex vivoaddition of fibrinogen concentrate improves the fibrin network structure in plasma samples taken during liver transplantation

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Abstract

Background:

Optimal hemostatic management during orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) remains a challenge. The cause of bleeding during OLT is multifactorial, and may include hemostatic imbalance. Fibrinogen concentrates are increasingly being used to control perioperative bleeding during OLT. However, administration is based on arbitrary thresholds of fibrinogen levels. Importantly, studies on fibrin clot structure during OLT are lacking.

Objective:

We determined the hemostatic efficacy of fibrinogen concentrate in correcting the fibrin structure.

Methods:

Plasma samples taken at various times during OLT from 15 patients and 15 healthy controls were spiked with 1 g L−1 fibrinogen concentrate or saline. Turbidity, fibrin fiber density and permeability of the fibrin clots were assessed.

Results:

Clotting rate and turbidity were significantly decreased at the start of surgery, and decreased even further during surgery. Addition of fibrinogen significantly increased the clotting rate and turbidity at all time points, but did not normalize it. Fibrin density was significantly reduced after reperfusion as compared with the density at the start of surgery and in healthy controls. Fibrin density improved significantly after addition of fibrinogen in samples taken at the start of surgery and after reperfusion. The severely impaired polymerization and decreased density after reperfusion were accompanied by significantly increased permeability of the clot as compared with the start of surgery and in controls, which was completely restored after addition of fibrinogen.

Conclusions:

Ex vivo addition of fibrinogen concentrate during OLT substantially improves the structural properties of the fibrin clot, which, particularly after reperfusion, shows hypocoagulable features. These data support the use of fibrinogen concentrate to control bleeding complications during OLT.

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