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Background: Hypofibrinogenaemia is one of the main reasons for development of perioperative coagulopathy during major paediatric surgery. The aim of this study was to assess whether prophylactic maintenance of higher fibrinogen concentrations through administration of fibrinogen concentrate would decrease the volume of transfused red blood cell (RBCs).

Methods: In this prospective, randomised, clinical trial, patients aged 6 months to 17 yr undergoing craniosynostosis and scoliosis surgery received fibrinogen concentrate (30 mg kg-1) at two predefined intraoperative fibrinogen concentrations [ROTEM(R) FIBTEM maximum clot firmness (MCF) of <8 mm (conventional) or <13 mm (early substitution)]. Total volume of transfused RBCs was recorded over 24 h after start of surgery.

Results: Thirty children who underwent craniosynostosis surgery and 19 children who underwent scoliosis surgery were treated per protocol. During craniosynostosis surgery, children in the early substitution group received significantly less RBCs (median, 28 ml kg-1; IQR, 21 to 50 ml kg-1) compared with the conventional fibrinogen trigger of <8 mm (median, 56 ml kg-1; IQR, 28 to 62 ml kg-1) (P=0.03). Calculated blood loss as per cent of estimated total blood volume decreased from a median of 160% (IQR, 110-190%) to a median of 90% (IQR, 78-110%) (P=0.017). No significant changes were observed in the scoliosis surgery population. No bleeding events requiring surgical intervention, postoperative transfusions of RBCs, or treatment-related adverse events were observed.

Conclusions: Intraoperative administration of fibrinogen concentrate using a FIBTEM MCF trigger level of <13 mm can be successfully used to significantly decrease bleeding, and transfusion requirements in the setting of craniosynostosis surgery, but not scoliosis.

Clinical trial registry number: NCT01487837.

(C) 2015 British Journal of Anaesthesia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.