Citrated kaolin thrombelastography (TEG) thresholds for goal-directed therapy in injured patients receiving massive transfusion

Gregory R. Stettler, Joshua J. Sumislawski, Ernest E. Moore, Geoffrey R. Nunns, Lucy Z. Kornblith, Amanda S. Conroy, Rachael A. Callcut, Christopher C. Silliman, Anirban Banerjee, Mitchell J. Cohen, Angela Sauaia

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13 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION Goal-directed hemostatic resuscitation based on thrombelastography (TEG) has a survival benefit compared with conventional coagulation assays such as international normalized ratio, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen level, and platelet count. While TEG-based transfusion thresholds for patients at risk for massive transfusion (MT) have been defined using rapid TEG, cutoffs have not been defined for TEG using other activators such as kaolin. The purpose of this study was to develop thresholds for blood product transfusion using citrated kaolin TEG (CK-TEG) in patients at risk for MT. METHODS CK-TEG was assessed in trauma activation patients at two Level 1 trauma centers admitted between 2010 and 2017. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were performed to test the predictive performance of CK-TEG measurements in patients requiring MT, defined as >10 units of red blood cells or death within the first 6 hours. The Youden Index defined optimal thresholds for CK-TEG-based resuscitation. RESULTS Of the 825 trauma activations, 671 (81.3%) were men, 419 (50.8%) suffered a blunt injury, and 62 (7.5%) received a MT. Patients who had a MT were more severely injured, had signs of more pronounced shock, and more abnormal coagulation assays. CK-TEG R-time was longer (4.9 vs. 4.4 min, p = 0.0084), angle was lower (66.2 vs. 70.3 degrees, p < 0.0001), maximum amplitude was lower in MT (57 vs. 65.5 mm, p < 0.0001), and LY30 was greater (1.8% vs. 1.2%, p = 0.0012) in patients with MT compared with non-MT. To predict MT, R-time yielded an area under the ROC curve (AUROC) = 0.6002 and a cut point of >4.45 min. Angle had an AUROC = 0.6931 and a cut point of <67 degrees. CMA had an AUROC = 0.7425, and a cut point of <60 mm. LY30 had an AUROC = 0.623 with a cut point of >4.55%. CONCLUSION We have identified CK-TEG thresholds that can guide MT in trauma. We propose plasma transfusion for R-time >4.45 min, fibrinogen products for an angle <67 degrees, platelet transfusion for MA <60 mm, and antifibrinolytics for LY30 >4.55%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-740
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • citrated kaolin TEG
  • coagulopathy
  • Massive transfusion
  • resuscitation
  • TEG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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