BACKGROUND: After cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) thrombocytopenia is a relatively common pattern which may trigger postoperative bleeding. The purpose of this study is to verify if the endogenous fibrinogen levels are independent determinants of chest drain blood loss and need for allogeneic blood products transfusions in a clinical model of post-CPB thrombocytopenia.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis on 445 consecutive patients having a platelet count <100×1000cells/μL after CPB. Based on the fibrinogen levels the patients were divided into three groups with similar platelet count and low (LF, median 170mg/dL), intermediate (IF, median 215mg/dL), and high (HF, median 280mg/dL), fibrinogen levels. Chest drain blood loss (mL/12h), transfusion rate of red blood cells (RBC), fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and platelet concentrates were assessed and compared between groups.
RESULTS: There was a significant (P=0.001) difference in chest drain blood loss with higher values in the LF group (487mL/12h, IQR 300-600mL/12h) than in the IF group (350mL/12h, IQR 200-500mL/12h) and the HF group (300mL/12h, IQR 200-475mL/12h). Transfusion rates of FFP significantly (P=0.014) differed between groups (LF: 18.4%, IF: 7.9%, HF: 9.2%) and platelet concentrate transfusions significantly (P=0.020) differed between groups (LF: 23.5%, IF: 16.5%, HF: 10.7%). In multivariable models, these differences were confirmed. Thromboelastography parameters showed an effective compensation of clot firmness in group HF vs. IF and LF.
CONCLUSIONS: Levels of fibrinogen >240mg/dL compensate the decrease in clot firmness observed in thrombocytopenic patients following CPB, and reduce bleeding and transfusion needs.