Thrombelastography (TEG) fibrinolysis shutdown after trauma is associated with increased mortality due to hypercoagulability-associated organ failure. However, a lack of mechanistic data has precluded the development of novel interventions to treat shutdown.Objectives:
To define the pathophysiology of TEG shutdown in severely injured, bleeding patients through secondary analysis of the PROPPR trial.Methods:
Fibrinolysis was characterized in PROPPR subjects using admission TEG lysis at 30 minutes (LY30) or plasmin-antiplasmin (PAP) levels. LY30 categories were low (<0.9%), moderate (0.9–2.9%), or high (≥ 3%). PAP was classified as low (<1500 μg/L), moderate (1500–20,000 μg/L), or high (>20,000 μg/L). Demographics, outcomes, admission TEG values, platelet count and function, standard coagulation tests and coagulation proteins were compared.Results:
547 patients had TEG data and 549 patients had PAP data available. Low LY30 was associated with reduced platelet count and aggregation, poorer TEG clot formation, prolonged clotting times, and reduced fibrinogen and alpha2 antiplasmin. Compared to moderate PAP, low PAP subjects had similar platelet parameters, TEG values, fibrinogen, and alpha2 antiplasmin, but reduced tPA, and elevated PAI-1. D-Dimer values increased as PAP increased, however patients with low LY30 had elevated D-Dimer compared to moderate LY30 patients. Most low LY30 deaths were due to TBI (45%) and hemorrhage (42%) versus one of each cause (TBI, hemorrhage, MOF) in low PAP patients.Conclusions:
Low TEG LY30 does not reflect shutdown of enzymatic fibrinolysis with hypercoagulability, but rather a coagulopathic state of moderate fibrinolysis with fibrinogen consumption and platelet dysfunction that is associated with poor outcomes.