Predicting prothrombotic tendencies in sepsis using spatial clot growth dynamics

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2012 Sep;23(6):498-507. doi: 10.1097/MBC.0b013e328352e90e.


Inflammation in sepsis is associated with hypercoagulation that may lead to thrombosis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Conventional diagnostic assays are poorly sensitive to procoagulant changes in sepsis. Objectives of the article is to study changes in hemostatic state of septic patients using spatial clot growth assay (currently being developed under the trademark of thrombodynamics) and to compare the sensitivity of this method with the sensitivity of conventional methods. Sixteen patients with hematological malignancies and sepsis were enrolled in the study. All patients had been surveyed for a month following the infection onset. Spatial clot growth assay monitors fibrin clot development in a nonstirred thin layer of platelet-free plasma activated by immobilized tissue factor. Clotting time tests, thromboelastography, D-dimer assays were also performed. Spatial clot growth revealed hypercoagulation in six patients. D-dimer levels increase (with vein thrombosis in one case) was subsequently observed in five of them. D-dimer levels did not increase when spatial clot growth was normal. At the next time point, after spatial clot growth assay showed hypercoagulation, the mean D-dimer concentration was significantly higher than after a normal analysis (457 versus 234 μg/l; P < 0.05); there was no such correlation for other assays. The remaining 10 patients had elevated D-dimer levels on the first day; this either decreased gradually or remained elevated. Spatial clot growth showed normalization in survivors and growing hypocoagulation in nonsurvivors. Measuring spatial clot growth dynamics has potential diagnostic utility for the evaluation of thrombotic risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Female
  • Fibrin / chemistry
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / analysis*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / blood
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sepsis / blood
  • Sepsis / complications
  • Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / complications
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Thrombosis / mortality


  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D
  • Fibrin