Rapid measurement of fibrinogen concentration in whole blood using a steel ball coagulometer

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Fibrinogen plays a key role in hemostasis and is the first coagulation factor to reach critical levels in bleeding patients. Current European guidelines on the management of traumatic or perioperative bleeding recommend fibrinogen supplementation at specific threshold levels. Whole blood viscoelastic tests provide fast evaluation of fibrin deficits. Fast measurement of plasma fibrinogen concentration is not yet available. We investigated a method to rapidly determine whole blood fibrinogen concentration using standard Clauss assays and a steel ball coagulometer and provide an estimate of the “plasma-equivalent” fibrinogen concentration within minutes by adjustment of the measured whole blood fibrinogen concentration with a quickly measureable hemoglobin-derived hematocrit.

METHODS

The feasibility of this approach was tested with a Clauss assay using multiple porcine fresh blood samples obtained during in vivo bleeding, hemodilution, and after treatment with hemostatic therapy. Two different Clauss assays were then tested using multiple human volunteers’ blood samples diluted in vitro and supplemented with fibrinogen concentrate. Comparative measurements with fibrin-based thromboelastometry tests were performed.

RESULTS

Regression and Bland-Altman analyses of derived “plasma-equivalent” fibrinogen and measured plasma fibrinogen concentration was excellent in porcine and human blood samples, especially in the ranges relevant to traumatic or perioperative bleeding.

CONCLUSION

Fast whole blood fibrinogen measurements could be considered as an alternative to plasma fibrinogen measurement for acute bleeding management in trauma and perioperative care settings. Further studies are needed to prove this concept and determine the turnaround times for its clinical application in emergency departments and operating theaters.

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