Background: The aim of this study was to diagnose hyperfibrinolysis (HF) and its pattern using thrombelastometry and to correlate the diagnosis with mortality. Furthermore, routine laboratory based and the rotational thrombelastometry analyzer (ROTEM)-derived variables were also correlated with survival.
Methods: Severe trauma patients showing HF in ROTEM were consecutively enrolled in the study. Three different HF patterns were compared: fulminant breakdown within 30 minutes, intermediate HF of 30 to 60 minutes, and late HF after 60 minutes. Injury severity score (ISS), hemodynamics, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count (PC), fibrinogen, and ROTEM variables at admission were analyzed. The observed mortality was compared with the predicted trauma and injury severity score mortality.
Results: Thirty-three patients were diagnosed with HF. The mean ISS was 47 +/- 14. Fulminant, intermediate, or late HF (n = 11 each group) resulted in 100%, 91%, or 73% mortality, respectively, with the best prognosis for late HF (p = 0.0031). The actual overall mortality of HF (88%) exceeded the predicted trauma and injury severity score mortality (70%) (p = 0.039). Lower PC (123 +/- 53 vs. 193 +/- 91; p = 0.034), ROTEM prolonged clot formation time [CFT, 359 (140/632) vs. 82 (14/190); p = 0.042], and lower platelet contribution to maximum clot firmness [MCF(EXTEM) - MCF(FIBTEM), 34 (20/40) vs. 46 (40/53); p = 0.026] were associated with increased mortality.
Conclusion: ROTEM-based diagnosis of HF predicted outcome. Further independent predictors of death were combination of HF with hemorrhagic shock, low PC, and prolonged CFT in ROTEM. ROTEM-based point of care testing in the emergency room is thus able to identify prognostic factors such as prolonged CFT and low platelet contribution to clot firmness (MCF(EX) - MCF(FIB)) earlier than standard laboratory-based monitoring.