Rotational thromboelastometry predicts transfusion and disability in pediatric trauma

Aaron J. Cunningham, Mary Condron, Martin A. Schreiber, Kenneth Azarow, Nicholas A. Hamilton, Katie Downie, William B. Long, Bryan G. Maxwell, Mubeen A. Jafri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Trauma-induced coagulopathy seen on rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) is associated with poor outcomes in adults; however, this relationship is poorly understood in the pediatric population. We sought to define thresholds for product-specific transfusion and evaluate the prognostic efficacy of ROTEM in injured children. METHODS Demographics, ROTEM, and clinical outcomes from severely injured children (age, < 18 years) admitted to a Level I trauma center between 2014 and 2018 were retrospectively analyzed. Receiver operating characteristic curves were plotted and Youden indexes were calculated against the endpoint of packed red blood cell transfusion to identify thresholds for intervention. The ROTEM parameters were compared against the clinical outcomes of mortality or disability at discharge. RESULTS Ninety subjects were reviewed. Increased tissue factor-triggered extrinsic pathway (EXTEM) clotting time (CT) >84.5 sec (p = 0.049), decreased EXTEM amplitude at 10 minutes (A10) <43.5 mm (p = 0.025), and decreased EXTEM maximal clot firmness (MCF) <64.5 mm (p = 0.026) were associated with need for blood product transfusion. Additionally, EXTEM CT longer than 68.5 seconds was associated with mortality or disability at discharge. CONCLUSION Coagulation dysregulation on thromboelastometry is associated with disability and mortality in children. Based on our findings, we propose ROTEM thresholds: Plasma transfusion for EXTEM CT longer than 84.5 seconds, fibrinogen replacement for EXTEM A10 less than 43.5 mm, and platelet transfusion for EXTEM MCF less than 64.5 mm. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Prognostic, Level III; Therapeutic, Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Trauma-induced coagulopathy
  • disability
  • pediatric trauma
  • rotational thromboelastometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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