BACKGROUND: Patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCHD) have haemostatic abnormities associated with bleeding and thrombo-embolic events. The haemostatic abnormalities are not fully understood, but recent studies indicate that elevated haematocrit and fibrinogen function may be of importance. The aim of this study was to characterise the haemostatic profile and examine the potential role of haematocrit on clot formation and strength in CCHD patients. Furthermore to examine whether CCHD patients with history of haemoptysis have diminished fibrinogen function compared to those without haemoptysis. METHODS: In a prospective study 75 adult CCHD patients had haematocrit, platelet count, and plasma fibrinogen concentration examined. Furthermore thrombelastography(TEG) as well as TEG Functional Fibrinogen(TEG FF) assay evaluating fibrinogen function(FLEV) was performed. Data were compared with historical data regarding previous haemoptysis in CCHD patients. RESULTS: Haematocrit was 57±8% and platelet counts in the lower normal range. TEG revealed a hypocoagulable condition with impaired clot formation. TEG values were correlated to haematocrit, indicating that elevated haematocrit causes impaired clot formation and strength. Despite high levels of plasma fibrinogen, TEG FF demonstrated that FLEV was diminished and negatively correlated to haematocrit. Furthermore CCHD patients with previous history of haemoptysis had significantly lower FLEV compared to CCHD patients without haemoptysis. CONCLUSION: Patients with CCHD are hypocoagulable mainly due to impaired fibrinogen function. Despite a low platelet count, platelet function does not seem to be severely affected in CCHD patients. Haemostasis, and especially fibrinogen function, is negatively affected by elevated haematocrit, and fibrinogen function is diminished in CCHD patients with haemoptysis.
International Journal of Cardiology, 2013, Vol 167, Issue 5, p. 2210-2014
Journal Article; Multicenter Study; Observational Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't