Thrombelastograph analyzers are point-of-care hemostatic analyzers that provide global assessment of the hemostatic process. Thrombelastography (TEG) detects and provides a continuous recording of the changes in the viscoelastic properties of whole blood from initial clot formation through fibinolysis. TEG has been validated for use in dogs, horses, and cats. Hemostasis research using TEG has focused on test validation, alterations of TEG tracings in animals with naturally occurring diseases, and the use of TEG for monitoring various therapeutic modalities. This article reviews TEG methodology and terminology, including potential sources of preanalytical and analytical errors, the correlation between TEG and other routine hemostatic assays, and current clinical applications of TEG, with emphasis on veterinary medical practice. Data suggest that TEG may be a sensitive and useful adjunctive tool for evaluating an animal with an underlying coagulopathy, including hypercoagulability and hypocoagulability. Additional prospective studies are needed to (1) correlate TEG tracing patterns with a clinical predisposition for bleeding or thrombosis in various disease states and (2) determine whether monitoring and treating hemostatic disorders based on TEG tracings improve clinical outcome.
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