Is perioperative point-of-care prothrombin time testing accurate compared to the standard laboratory test?

Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
ISSN: 0340-6245
Issue: 2009: 102/4 (Oct) pp. 611-798
Pages: 779-786

Is perioperative point-of-care prothrombin time testing accurate compared to the standard laboratory test?

Natalie Urwyler 1; Lukas P. Staub 2; Dominik Beran 1; Marcus Deplazes 1; Sarah J. Lord 2,3; Lorenzo Alberio4;
Lorenz Theiler 1; Robert Greif1

1University Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Therapy, University Hospital of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; 2 NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre,
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; 3 Screening and Test Evaluation Program, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney,
Australia; 4 University Department of Hematology, University Hospital of Bern, Bern, Switzerland


coagulation, prothrombin time, Blood loss, Point-of-care, anaesthesiology


There is no accepted way of measuring prothrombin time without time loss for patients undergoing major surgery who are at risk of intraoperative dilution and consumption coagulopathy due to bleeding and volume replacement with crystalloids or colloids. Decisions to transfuse fresh frozen plasma and procoagulatory drugs have to rely on clinical judgment in these situations. Point-of-care devices are considerably faster than the standard laboratory methods. In this study we assessed the accuracy of a Point-of-care (PoC) device measuring prothrombin time compared to the standard laboratory method. Patients undergoing major surgery and intensive care unit patients were included. PoC prothrombin time was measured by CoaguChek® XS Plus (Roche Diagnostics, Switzerland). PoC and reference tests were performed independently and interpreted under blinded conditions. Using a cut-off prothrombin time of 50%, we calculated diagnostic accuracy measures, plotted a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and tested for equivalence between the two methods. PoC sensitivity and specificity were 95% (95% CI 77%, 100%) and 95% (95% CI 91%, 98%) respectively. The negative likelihood ratio was 0.05 (95% CI 0.01, 0.32). The positive likelihood ratio was 19.57 (95% CI 10.62, 36.06). The area under the ROC curve was 0.988. Equivalence between the two methods was confirmed. CoaguChek® XS Plus is a rapid and highly accurate test compared with the reference test. These findings suggest that PoC testing will be useful for monitoring intraoperative prothrombin time when coagulopathy is suspected. It could lead to a more rational use of expensive and limited blood bank resources.

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