Establishment of Methods for Performing Thrombelastography and Calibrated Automated Thrombography in Rats

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Rodent models of hemorrhagic shock are paramount to our understanding of the pathophysiology of this disease, the effects on coagulation and in exploring the utility of resuscitative methods for managing patients in shock. These models usually require serial blood sampling during experimentation. The lack of standardized practices for these experimental models has resulted in technical variability, discordance in the literature, and incomparable results on blood coagulation analysis between researchers, hindering substantial progress in the field of hemorrhagic shock. The aim of this study was to define the effects of cardiac puncture versus arterial catheterization on coagulation in a rat model to provide data supporting standardization of one practice over another. Blood was collected from anesthetized rats via cardiac puncture or femoral artery catheterization and hemostatic potential analyzed by thrombelastography and calibrated automated thrombography. Our data show that blood collected via cardiac puncture demonstrated hypercoagulability as indicated by faster rates of clot formation and thrombin generation, increased overall clot strength, and a greater thrombin-generating capacity when compared with blood collected via femoral artery catheter. We conclude that blood collection methods have a profound effect on hemostatic potential, and standardization of these practices is necessary to define the effects of shock on coagulation in rodents.

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