Fibrinolysis shutdown is associated with a fivefold increase in mortality in trauma patients lacking hypersensitivity to tissue plasminogen activator
Fibrinolysis shutdown (SD) is an independent risk factor for increased mortality in trauma. High levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) directly binding tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) is a proposed mechanism for SD; however, patients with low PAI-1 levels present to the hospital with a rapid TEG (r-TEG) LY30 suggestive SD. We therefore hypothesized that two distinct phenotypes of SD exist, one, which is driven by t-PA inhibition, whereas another is due to an inadequate t-PA release in response to injury.METHODS
Trauma activations from our Level I center between 2014 and 2016 with blood collected within an hour of injury were analyzed with r-TEG and a modified TEG assay to quantify fibrinolysis sensitivity using exogenous t-PA (t-TEG). Using the existing r-TEG thresholds for SD (<0.9%), physiologic (LY30 0.9–2.9%), and hyperfibrinolysis (LY30 > 2.9%) patients were stratified into phenotypes. A t-TEG LY30 greater than 95th percentile of healthy volunteers (n = 140) was classified as t-PA hypersensitive and used to subdivide phenotypes. A nested cohort had t-PA and PAI-1 activity levels measured in addition to proteomic analysis of additional fibrinolytic regulators.RESULTS
This study included 398 patients (median New Injury Severity Score, 18), t-PA-Sen was present in 27% of patients. Shutdown had the highest mortality rate (20%) followed by hyperfibinolysis (16%) and physiologic (9% p = 0.020). In the non–t-PA hypersensitive cohort, SD had a fivefold increase in mortality (15%) compared with non-SD patients (3%; p = 0.003) which remained significant after adjusting for Injury Severity Score and age (p = 0.033). Overall t-PA activity (p = 0.002), PAI-1 (p < 0.001), and t-PA/PAI-1 complex levels (p = 0.006) differed between the six phenotypes, and 54% of fibrinolytic regulator proteins analyzed (n = 19) were significantly different.CONCLUSION
In conclusion, acute fibrinolysis SD is not caused by a single etiology, and is clearly associated with PAI-1 activity. The differential phenotypes require an ongoing investigation to identify the optimal resuscitation strategy for these patients.Level of Evidence
Prognostic, level III.