Background: Fibrinogen concentrate has been shown to improve coagulation in dilutional coagulopathy in experimental studies, but clinical experience is still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate laboratory data and the clinical outcome of fibrinogen administration in patients suffering from severe hemorrhage.
Materials and methods: A retrospective study over a 3-year observation period of consecutive patients who received a single dose of fibrinogen concentrate but not recombinant factor VIIa as part of their treatment of severe hemorrhage, defined as >6 U of packed red blood cells (PRBCs).
Results: Thirty-seven patients were included, most of them suffering from severe hemorrhage following open heart surgery (68%). After a median fibrinogen dose of 2 g (range 1–6 g), an absolute increase in the plasma fibrinogen concentration of 0.6 g/l was observed (P<0.001). The activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) decreased significantly (P<0.001), from 52 to 43 s and the prothrombin time (PT) decreased from 20 to 17 s, respectively. The transfusion requirement for PRBCs decreased from 6 to 3 U (P<0.01) in the 24 h after fibrinogen administration, but fresh-frozen plasma and platelet concentrate transfusions did not change significantly. Eight patients (22%) died in intensive care unit and the pre-operative fibrinogen concentration was not significantly different in these patients.
Conclusion: Administration of fibrinogen for severe hemorrhage was associated with an increased fibrinogen concentration and a significant decrease in APTT, PT and the requirement for PRBCs.