Background: Low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is being used increasingly in veterinary medicine for both treatment and prophylaxis of thromboembolic disease, but no predictable patient-side method exists to monitor its effect.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate thromboelastography (TEG) and prothombinase-induced clotting time (PiCT) assays for detecting hemostatic alterations following in vitro heparinization of canine whole blood with dalteparin (Fragmin).
Methods: Citrated whole-blood samples were collected from 7 clinically healthy dogs. Dalteparin was added at concentrations of 0, 0.156, 0.625, 1.25, and 2.5 U/mL of whole blood. TEG was performed using heparinase cups with tissue factor (TF, 1:50,000) and kaolin as activators. Reaction time (R), clotting time (K), angle (α), and maximum amplitude (MA) were recorded. PiCT and anti-FXa activity were measured in plasma.
Results: With TF, increasing concentrations of dalteparin significantly prolonged R and K and significantly decreased α and MA. K, α, and MA ratios were significantly different from baseline at all dalteparin concentrations and R was significantly different from baseline at concentrations of 0.625, 1.25, and 2.5 U/mL. With kaolin, only R was significantly different from baseline at dalteparin concentrations of 0.625 and 2.5 U/mL. PiCT detected dalteparin concentrations ≤ 0.625 U/mL, with a good linear correlation (r2=.96, P<.0001).
Conclusion: These results suggest that TF-activated TEG and PiCT assays should be further evaluated as promising new methods for evaluating the effect of LMWH, using doses in the recommended clinical range and prospective clinical studies.