Fibrinogen concentrate as part of treatment protocols increasingly draws attention. Fibrinogen substitution in cases of hypofibrinogenaemia has the potential to reduce bleeding, transfusion requirement and subsequently reduce morbidity and mortality. A systematic search for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies investigating fibrinogen concentrate in bleeding patients was conducted up to November 2013. We included 30 studies of 3480 identified (7 RCTs and 23 non-randomised). Seven RCTs included a total of 268 patients (165 adults and 103 paediatric), and all were determined to be of high risk of bias and none reported a significant effect on mortality. Two RCTs found a significant reduction in bleeding and five RCTs found a significant reduction in transfusion requirements. The 23 non-randomised studies included a total of 2825 patients, but only 11 of 23 studies included a control group. Three out of 11 found a reduction in transfusion requirements while mortality was reduced in two and bleeding in one. In the available RCTs, which all have substantial shortcomings, we found a significant reduction in bleeding and transfusions requirements. However, data on mortality were lacking. Weak evidence from RCTs supports the use of fibrinogen concentrate in bleeding patients, primarily in elective cardiac surgery, but a general use of fibrinogen across all settings is only supported by non-randomised studies with serious methodological shortcomings. It seems pre-mature to conclude whether fibrinogen concentrate has a routine role in the management of bleeding and coagulopathic patients. More RCTs are urgently warranted.
Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, 2014, Vol 58, Issue 9, p. 1061-74