Management of Hepatic Coagulopathy in Bleeding and Nonbleeding Patients: An Evidence-Based Review.

TitleManagement of Hepatic Coagulopathy in Bleeding and Nonbleeding Patients: An Evidence-Based Review.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsLange NW, Salerno DM, Berger K, Cushing MM, Brown RS
JournalJ Intensive Care Med
Date Published2021 May
KeywordsBlood Coagulation Disorders, Blood Coagulation Tests, Hemorrhage, Humans, Partial Thromboplastin Time, Prothrombin Time

Patients with varying degrees of hepatic dysfunction often present with presumed bleeding diathesis based on interpretation of routine measures of coagulation (prothrombin time [PT], international normalized ratio [INR], and activated partial thromboplastin time). However, standard markers of coagulation do not reflect the actual bleeding risk in this population and may lead to inappropriate administration of hemostatic agents and blood products. The concept of "rebalanced hemostasis" explains both the risk of bleeding and clotting seen in patients with liver dysfunction. The role of pharmacologic agents and blood products for prevention of bleeding during high-risk procedures and treatment of clinically significant bleeding remains unclear. Viscoelastic measurements of the clotting cascade provide information about platelets, fibrinogen/fibrin polymerization, coagulation factors, and fibrinolysis that might better represent hemostasis in vivo and may better inform management strategies. Due to the paucity of available data, firm recommendations for the use of blood products and pharmacologic agents in patients with hepatic coagulopathies are lacking, and thus, these products should not be routinely administered. Traditional laboratory tests such as PT/INR should not be the sole determinant of potential interventions. Rather, clinicians should assess factors such as the severity of bleed or bleeding risk of the procedure, the patient's risk of thromboembolism, and the strength of available evidence for specific agents and blood products to guide decision-making.

Alternate JournalJ Intensive Care Med
PubMed ID32079443
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