The effect of thromboelastogram-guided transfusion on postoperative complications and transfusion requirement in the post-reperfusion period in liver transplantation surgery

Contribution of thromboelastogram-guided transfusion to liver transplantation



liver, transplantation, thromboelastography, blood transfusion


Background/Aim: Liver transplantation surgery is one of the most common abdominal surgeries requiring blood transfusion. Coagulation parameters vary during the perioperative period because of the patient profile. Blood transfusion management should be carefully controlled to avoid causing dysfunction in the newly transplanted organ. Various laboratory parameters are used to achieve this. This study aimed to investigate the effect of transfusion managed by conventional coagulation tests or thromboelastogram (TEG) on blood product consumption and postoperative outcomes in the post-reperfusion period.

Methods: The records of 90 recipients who underwent transplantation between January 1, 2012, and November 30, 2022, were retrospectively analyzed. Twenty patients who were administered blood transfusion under TEG guidance in the post-reperfusion period constituted the case group, while 20 patients non-consecutive randomly selected among other patients who were administered blood transfusion with conventional coagulation tests constituted the control group. In conclusion, 40 patients were included in this retrospective case-control study. We retrospectively analyzed demographic data, surgical data, perioperative laboratory parameters, intraoperative total and post-reperfusion blood and blood product transfusions, TEG parameters, and postoperative complications.

Results: No difference was found between the groups regarding demographic data, etiological factors, surgical data, and preoperative laboratory parameters (P>0.05). There was a significant decrease in the amount of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfused in the case group compared to the control group in the intraoperative total and post-reperfusion period (P=0.011, P=0.003). There was no difference between the groups regarding other blood product transfusions and postoperative complications (P>0.05). Regarding the effects of intraoperative total and post-reperfusion blood and blood products on ventilator stay, intensive care unit stay, length of stay (LOS), hepatic artery thrombosis, graft rejection, postoperative kidney damage, and first 28-day mortality, only a weak negative correlation was found between intraoperative total and postreperfusion fibrinogen use and LOS (r=-0.325/P=0.041, r=-0.354/P=0.025).

Conclusion: TEG-guided transfusion in the post-reperfusion period reduced total blood product consumption. Besides, the increase in the use of fibrin has led to a decrease in LOS. However, using TEG has no significant effect on postoperative mortality and morbidity. TEG and an objective assessment of patient clinical status may be an ideal guide for transfusion strategy.


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Büyükbezirci G, Topal A, Yılmaz R, Kolsuz Erdem F, Küçükkartallar T. The effect of thromboelastogram-guided transfusion on postoperative complications and transfusion requirement in the post-reperfusion period in liver transplantation surgery: Contribution of thromboelastogram-guided transfusion to liver transplantation. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2023 Jan. 29 [cited 2024 Apr. 23];7(1):112-7. Available from: