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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Mauro PANIGADA 1, Andrea ARTONI 2, Serena M. PASSAMONTI 2, Alberto MAINO 2, Cristina MIETTO 1, Camilla L’ACQUA 1, Massimo CRESSONI 1, Massimo BOSCOLO 2, Armando TRIPODI 2, Paolo BUCCIARELLI 2, Luciano GATTINONI 1, Ida MARTINELLI 2
1 Dipartimento di Anestesia, Rianimazione ed Emergenza-Urgenza, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; 2 Centro Emofilia e Trombosi A. Bianchi Bonomi, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico e Università di Milano, Milan, Italy
BACKGROUND: We investigated the coagulation system in patients during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) initiated for respiratory failure and the influence of the ECMO circuit on coagulation tests; we compared different coagulation tests for monitoring unfractionated heparin (UH) therapy; we investigated whether or not coagulation parameters were predictive of bleeding during ECMO.
METHODS: Pilot study on twelve consecutive adult patients admitted at our general ICU for acute respiratory failure and placed on ECMO from November 2011 to October 2012. Coagulation tests were performed before ECMO start and daily, including day of circuit change and day of circuit removal. UH was monitored with activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) ratio, at a therapeutic range of 1.5-2.0.
RESULTS: We observed no effect of ECMO circuit on coagulation parameters measured pre- and postlung, but platelet count decreased significantly over time (-82x103/mmc, 95%CI 40-123). APTT showed a correlation with antifactor Xa activity, whereas other global coagulation tests such as activated clotting time, thromboelastography and endogenous thrombin potential did not. Major bleeding occurred in three patients but no difference in any coagulation parameter was observed between them and those who did not bleed.
CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study shows that ECMO initiated for respiratory support in adults does not change coagulation parameters. Over time a statistically significant reduction of platelet count was observed, possibly due to consumption within the circuit, consumption microangiopathy or the underlying patients’ diseases. Although APTT was appropriate to monitor UH, major bleedings occurred and a lower therapeutic range may be advisable.