TEG and ROTEM: technology and clinical applications

Am J Hematol. 2014 Feb;89(2):228-32. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23599.


Initially described in 1948 by Hertert thromboelastography (TEG) provides a real-time assessment of viscoelastic clot strength in whole blood. Rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) evolved from TEG technology and both devices generate output by transducing changes in the viscoelastic strength of a small sample of clotting blood (300 µl) to which a constant rotational force is applied. These point of care devices allow visual assessment of blood coagulation from clot formation, through propagation, and stabilization, until clot dissolution. Computer analysis of the output allows sophisticated clot formation/dissolution kinetics and clot strength data to be generated. Activation of clot formation can be initiated with both intrinsic (kaolin, ellagic acid) and extrinsic (tissue factor) activators. In addition, the independent contributions of platelets and fibrinogen to final clot strength can be assessed using added platelet inhibitors (abciximab and cytochalasin D). Increasingly, ROTEM and TEG analysis is being incorporated in vertical algorithms to diagnose and treat bleeding in high-risk populations such as those undergoing cardiac surgery or suffering from blunt trauma. Some evidence suggests these algorithms might reduce transfusions, but further study is needed to assess patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Thrombelastography / instrumentation
  • Thrombelastography / methods*