Detection of Acute Traumatic Coagulopathy by Viscoelastic Haemostatic Assays Compared to Standard Laboratory Tests: A Systematic Review

Ellen K. Forster, Simon Hendel, Biswadev Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: The aim of this systematic review was to investigate whether viscoelastic haemostatic assays (VHAs) offer comparative diagnostic ability of acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) compared to the standard laboratory coagulation tests (SLCT). ATC is a complication of major trauma characterized by dysfunctional blood clotting, leading to an increased bleeding risk. Additionally, we aimed to analyse the association of VHA with blood product use and health outcomes. Methods: The search protocol was pre-published and completed on December 2, 2020, assessing manuscripts from 2000 until the present. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central, BIOSIS, Emcare, CINAHL, and additional online resources and referenced lists. Included were manuscripts that quantitatively reported the detection of ATC using VHAs and SLCTs. A meta-analysis was undertaken including observational studies that reported on patients with injuries to all body regions and results analysed using a random-effects model and reported using pooled odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: There were 14 observational studies and one randomized control trial involving 2,715 participants that satisfied inclusion criteria. We observed significant heterogeneity in the definitions of ATC, study design, setting, and patient population. Among observational studies that reported on patients with injuries to all body regions, VHAs were associated with higher odds of diagnosing ATC compared to SLCT (pooled OR 2.4; 95% CI: 1.4-4.1). There was inadequate evidence to suggest VHAs were associated with reduced blood product usage or lower mortality. Conclusion: VHAs detected more patients with ATC compared to SLCTs. However, the clinical significance and applicability of this finding remains unknown as translation to management was not adequately reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-347
Number of pages13
JournalTransfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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