The evaluation of the coagulation profile has used so far either clotting-based or chromogenic assays with different endpoints. Clotting-based techniques are the most used worldwide, and they certainly are useful for diagnosis of clotting factor deficiencies. However, the information provided is relatively limited, and therefore the individual profile of coagulation is poorly assessed. This is reflected by the weak correlation between the results of these assays and the clinical phenotype. Among the assays that benefited from technological advances, thrombin generation and thromboelastography are probably the most actively investigated, but they require specific instruments and are not fully automated. Their standardisation level is rapidly progressing, and they are progressively entering the clinical scene, with the attempt to provide additional information on the coagulation process and a meaningful clinical correlation. These inherited bleeding disorders frequently require replacement therapy using clotting factor concentrates that increase the plasma level of the missing clotting factor. The classical adjustment of the therapy is mainly based on the measurement of the plasma clotting activity of the protein administered. If one considers that a certain level of thrombin generated would predict clinical efficacy, monitoring of thrombin formation might offer new possibilities to individually predict the bleeding phenotype, select the most adapted therapeutic product and tailor the dose. The same holds true for thromboelastography/thromboelastometry which evaluate fibrin formation as well as clot resistance to fibrinolytic challenge, one step further down in the coagulation process. In this regard, these 2 assays could be seen as complementary in terms of information provided on the coagulation profile at the individual level.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.