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The management of acquired coagulopathy in multiple clinical settings frequently involves fibrinogen supplementation. Cryoprecipitate, a multidonor product, is widely used for the treatment of acquired hypofibrinogenemia following massive bleeding, but it has been associated with adverse events. We aimed to review the latest evidence on cryoprecipitate for treatment of bleeding.
We conducted a narrative review of current literature on cryoprecipitate therapy, describing its history, formulations and preparation, and recommended dosing. We also reviewed guideline recommendations on the use of cryoprecipitate in bleeding situations and recent studies on its efficacy and safety.
Cryoprecipitate has a relatively high fibrinogen content; however, as it is produced by pooling fresh frozen donor plasma, the fibrinogen content per unit can vary considerably. Current guidelines suggest that cryoprecipitate use should be limited to treating hypofibrinogenemia in patients with clinical bleeding. Until recently, cryoprecipitate was deemed unsuitable for pathogen reduction, and potential safety concerns and lack of standardized fibrinogen content have led to some professional bodies recommending that cryoprecipitate is only indicated for the treatment of bleeding and hypofibrinogenemia in perioperative settings where fibrinogen concentrate is not available. While cryoprecipitate is effective in increasing plasma fibrinogen levels, data on its clinical efficacy are limited.
There is a lack of robust evidence to support the use of cryoprecipitate in bleeding patients, with few prospective, randomized clinical trials performed to date. Clinical trials in bleeding settings are needed to investigate the safety and efficacy of cryoprecipitate and to determine its optimal use and administration.
In traumatically injured patients, excessive blood loss necessitating the transfusion of red blood cell (RBC) units is common. Indicators of early RBC transfusion in the pre-hospital setting are needed. This study aims to evaluate the association between hypothermia (<36°C) and transfusion risk within the first 24 hours after arrival to hospital for a traumatic injury.
We completed an audit of all traumatically injured patients who had emergent surgery at a single tertiary care center between 2010 and 2014. Using multivariable logistic regression analysis, we evaluated the association between pre-hospital hypothermia and transfusion of ≥1 unit of RBC within 24 hours of arrival to the trauma bay.
Of the 703 patients included to evaluate the association between hypothermia and RBC transfusion, 203 patients (29%) required a transfusion within 24 hours. After controlling for important confounding variables, including age, sex, coagulopathy (platelets and INR), hemoglobin, and vital signs (blood pressure and heart rate), hypothermia was associated with a 68% increased odds of transfusion in multivariable analysis (OR: 1.68; 95% CI: 1.11-2.56).
Hypothermia is strongly associated with RBC transfusion in a cohort of trauma patients requiring emergent surgery. This finding highlights the importance of early measures of temperature after traumatic injury and the need for intervention trials to determine if strategies to mitigate the risk of hypothermia will decrease the risk of transfusion and other morbidities.