Hypercoagulability in Septic Shock Patients With Thrombocytopenia

BACKGROUND Despite thrombocytopenia, patients with sepsis often experience hypercoagulability. However, limited information is available on the prevalence and effect of hypercoagulability in patients with sepsis-induced thrombocytopenia. Hence, we evaluated the prevalence of hypercoagulability and the association between hypercoagulability and clinical outcomes in septic shock patients with thrombocytopenia.
METHODS Thromboelastography (TEG) was performed prospectively in 1294 patients with septic shock at the emergency department (ED) between January 2016 and December 2019. After excluding 405 patients who did not require resuscitation, refused enrollment, or developed septic shock after ED presentation, 889 patients were included. We defined thrombocytopenia as an admission platelet count lower than 150,000/µl according to SOFA score. We defined hypocoagulability and hypercoagulability as coagulation index (CI)<-3 and>3 on TEG, respectively.
RESULTS Of the 889 septic shock patients (mean age 65.6 ± 12.7 years, 58.6% male), 473 (53.2%) had thrombocytopenia. Eighty-five (18.0%) patients showed hypercoagulable TEG and73 (15.4%) patients showed hypocoagulable TEG. The hypercoagulable TEG group had a significantly higher fibrinogen level and a lower 28-day mortality rate than the normal and hypocoagulable TEG groups (518 vs. 347 and 315 mg/dL; 7.1% vs. 21.1% and 36.8%, P<0.01, respectively). In multivariate analysis, hypercoagulable TEG was associated with a decreased mortality rate (odds ratio: 0.395; 95% confidence interval, 0.162-0.965).
CONCLUSIONS In septic shock patients with thrombocytopenia, hypercoagulability was not uncommon. TEG can quickly distinguish the hypercoagulability and hypocoagulability states and serve as a valuable tool for evaluating the degree and risk in septic shock patients with thrombocytopenia.

as reported in: J Intensive Care Med. 2021 Jun 9 8850666211024188 [Epub ahead of print]