Objective: To test in a prospective randomized study the hypothesis that use of thromboelastography (TEG) decreases blood transfusion during major surgery.
Material and methods: Twenty-eight patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation were recruited over 2 years. Patients were randomized into 2 groups: those monitored during surgery using point-of-care TEG analysis, and those monitored using standard laboratory measures of blood coagulation. Specific trigger points for transfusion were established in each group.
Results: In patients monitored via TEG, significantly less fresh-frozen plasma was used (mean [SD], 12.8 [7.0] units vs 21.5 [12.7] units). There was a trend toward less blood loss in the TEG-monitored patients; however, the difference was not significant. There were no differences in total fluid administration and 3-year survival.
Conclusion: Thromboelastography-guided transfusion decreases transfusion of fresh- frozen plasma in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation, but does not affect 3-year survival.
2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.