Clinical Application of Thromboelastography in Patients With Cirrhosis: A Single Center Experience

Amanda Azer, Guergana G. Panayotova, Karen Kong, Daniel Hakakian, Fariha Sheikh, Elizabeth Gorman, Anne Sutherland, Zaid Tafesh, Helen Horng, James V. Guarrera, Nina E. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Thromboelastography (TEG) is a functional test of coagulation used to guide transfusions. Despite literature supporting its utility, its use remains limited to select populations. In patients with cirrhosis, conventional coagulation tests are notoriously inaccurate, and TEG may be a better measure of coagulopathy. We aimed to assess the utilization of TEG in patients with cirrhosis to steward blood transfusions in this high-risk group. Methods: A single-center retrospective chart review of all patients ≥18 y old with a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis who had TEG results documented in the electronic medical record from January 1 to November 1, 2021. Results: There were 277 TEG results on 89 patients with cirrhosis. Overall, 91% of the TEGs performed were associated with a clinical indication for transfusion. However, of the patients who were transfused, abnormal TEG values, including elevated R time and reduced maximum amplitude, did not correspond to transfusion of indicated blood products (fresh frozen plasma and platelets). A reduction in alpha angle showed a statistically significant association with transfusion of cryoprecipitate (P < 0.05). When assessing conventional coagulation tests, abnormal values were not significantly associated with transfusion (P = 0.07). Conclusions: Despite TEG suggesting that transfusions could be avoided in many cirrhotic patients, patients are still being transfused platelets and fresh frozen plasma in the absence of evidence of coagulopathy on TEG. Our finding suggests the need for education about appropriate utilization of TEG. More research is needed to understand the role of these tests to guide transfusion practices in patients with cirrhosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


  • Cirrhosis
  • ESLD
  • TEG
  • Thromboelastography
  • Transfusion


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