Coagulation monitoring in postcardiotomy ecmo: Conventional tests, point-of-care, or both?

Marco Ranucci, Ekaterina Baryshnikova, Mauro Cotza, Giovanni Carboni, Giuseppe Isgrò, Concetta Carlucci, Andrea Balota, Surgical and Clinical Outcome Research (SCORE) Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the association of the coagulation point-of-care (POC) tests activated clotting time (ACT) and thromboelastography-derived parameters reaction time (R-time) and maximum amplitude (MA) with the standard coagulation tests during postcardiotomy extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), finding adequate values predictive for the target range of the standard coagulation tests. METHODS: Thirty-one patients undergoing postcardiotomy ECMO with heparin anticoagulation were analyzed. Paired data of the POC tests and standard coagulation tests were analyzed for association and positive predictive value (PPV). RESULTS : The following target range values for standard coagulation test were settled: activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) 50-70 seconds; international normalized ratio (INR) 1.5-2.5; platelet count >50,000 cells/μL; fibrinogen >150 mg/dL. The best predictor for the desired aPTT range was an ACT of 162-185 seconds. A combination of an ACT<162 seconds with an R-time <10 minutes had an 83% PPV for a short aPTT. A combination of an ACT>185 seconds with an R-time >27 minutes had a 71% PPV for a long aPTT. No predictive ability of the POC tests was found in terms of the optimal INR range. An MA value <41 mm had a 75% PPV for a low platelet count or fibrinogen level. CONCLUSIONS: Diagnostic-therapeutic algorithms based on coagulation POC-tests may be useful to manage anticoagulation during postcardiotomy ECMO. The best PPV for prompting therapeutic decision is provided by a combination of ACT and visco-elastic tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-866
Number of pages9
JournalMinerva Anestesiologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Heparin
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Thromboelastography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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