Thromboelastography can be performed with native or citrated blood (a surrogate to native blood in healthy controls, surgical and cirrhotic patients). Activators such as kaolin are increasingly used to reduce the time to trace generation. To compare kaolin-activated thromboelastography with nonkaolin-activated thromboelastography of native and citrated blood in patients with liver disease, patients undergoing treatment with warfarin or low-molecular weight heparin and healthy volunteers. We studied thromboelastography parameters in 21 healthy volunteers (group 1) and 50 patients, including 20 patients with liver cirrhosis with a nonbiliary aetiology (group 2), 10 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis or primary sclerosing cholangitis (group 3), 10 patients on warfarin treatment (group 4) and 10 patients with enoxaparin prophylaxis (group 5). Thromboelastography was performed using four methods: native blood (kaolin-activated and nonkaolin-activated) and citrated blood (kaolin-activated and nonkaolin-activated). For all thromboelastography parameters, correlation was poor (Spearman correlation coefficient <0.70) between nonkaolin-activated and kaolin-activated thromboelastography, for both citrated and native blood. In healthy volunteers, in patients with liver disease and in those receiving anticoagulant treatment, there was a poor correlation between nonkaolin-activated and kaolin-activated thromboelastography. Kaolin-activated thromboelastography needs further validation before routine clinical use in these settings, and the specific methodology must be considered in comparing published studies.
- Liver disease
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