Trauma induces a hypercoagulable state that is resistant to hypothermia as measured by thrombelastogram

Am J Surg. 2011 May;201(5):587-91. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2011.01.012.


Background: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that severely injured trauma patients would be hypercoagulable compared with controls measured by thromboelastography and that this hypercoagulability would persist over a broad range of temperatures.

Methods: A prospective study evaluating the effects of temperature on coagulation in trauma patients with Injury Severity Scores ≥ 15 and controls was completed. Thromboelastography was performed 24 hours after admission at 4 temperatures ranging from 32°C to 38°C.

Results: Ninety-two subjects (46 patients) were analyzed. Patients had a median Injury Severity Score of 20 (interquartile range, 16–26). Time to clot formation increased (P < .001) and fibrin cross-linking decreased (P < .01) in both groups as temperature decreased. Between groups, time to clot formation, fibrin cross-linking, and clot strength were significantly different at each temperature (P < .01), with patients being more hypercoagulable. Time to clot formation and fibrin cross-linking were more affected by temperature in controls compared with patients (P < .02).

Conclusions: Severely injured patients are more hypercoagulable than controls throughout a broad range of temperature. Decreasing temperature has a greater effect on coagulation in controls compared with patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology*
  • Body Temperature*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced*
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thrombelastography / methods*
  • Thrombophilia / etiology*
  • Thrombophilia / physiopathology
  • Thrombophilia / prevention & control
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications*
  • Wounds and Injuries / physiopathology
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy