Perioperative coagulopathy monitoring

Musculoskelet Surg. 2014 Jun;98(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/s12306-013-0307-7. Epub 2013 Nov 27.


Coagulopathy is common in orthopedic surgery patients either due to acquired factors, such as surgery, trauma, medications, or hemorrhage. Perioperative monitoring of blood coagulation is critical to diagnose the causes of hemorrhage, guide hemostatic therapies, predict the risk of bleeding during surgical procedures, and reduce risk of postoperative cardiac and thromboembolic events. In contrast to previous interventions that measure specific portions of the clotting cascade (such as intrinsic or extrinsic pathways or platelet aggregation), "Point-of-care" coagulation monitoring devices assess the viscoelastic properties of whole blood. These techniques have the potential to measure the entire clotting process, starting with fibrin formation, clot retraction, and fibrinolysis. Furthermore, the coagulation status of patients is assessed in whole blood, allowing the plasmatic coagulation system to interact with platelets and red cells, and thereby providing useful additional information on platelet function. Improved monitoring of coagulopathy is particularly important as new anticoagulant drugs emerge that affect the clotting cascade in novel ways, including the inhibition of intrinsic and extrinsic pathways and platelet function. It is important for orthopedic surgeons to understand the pharmacology and reversal of these drugs in the perioperative setting. The purpose of this review is to review the current techniques to monitoring perioperative coagulopathy and to identify the manner in which novel anticoagulant medications affect the clotting cascade with particular interest in trauma and spine surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / physiology
  • Blood Coagulation Tests* / economics
  • Blood Coagulation Tests* / methods
  • Blood Loss, Surgical / prevention & control
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Elasticity
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Orthopedic Procedures*
  • Perioperative Care / methods*
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Thrombophilia / diagnosis
  • Viscosity


  • Anticoagulants
  • Blood Coagulation Factors