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BACKGROUND: Conventional clotting tests are not expeditious enough to allow timely targeted interventions in trauma, and current point-of-care analyzers, such as rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM), have limited sensitivity for hyperfibrinolysis and hypofibrinogenemia. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the performance of a recently developed global fibrinolysis capacity (GFC) assay in identifying fibrinolysis and hypofibrinogenemia in trauma patients. METHODS: Exploratory analysis of a prospective cohort of adult trauma patients admitted to a single UK major trauma center and of commercially available healthy donor samples was performed. Lysis time (LT) was measured in plasma according to the GFC manufacturer's protocol, and a novel fibrinogen-related parameter (percentage reduction in GFC optical density from baseline at 1 minute) was derived from the GFC curve. Hyperfibrinolysis was defined as a tissue factor-activated ROTEM maximum lysis of >15% or LT of ≤30 minutes. RESULTS: Compared to healthy donors (n = 19), non-tranexamic acid-treated trauma patients (n = 82) showed shortened LT, indicative of hyperfibrinolysis (29 minutes [16-35] vs 43 minutes [40-47]; p < .001). Of the 63 patients without overt ROTEM-hyperfibrinolysis, 31 (49%) had LT of ≤30 minutes, with 26% (8 of 31) of them requiring major transfusions. LT showed increased accuracy compared to maximum lysis in predicting 28-day mortality (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.96 [0.92-1.00] vs 0.65 [0.49-0.81]; p = .001). Percentage reduction in GFC optical density from baseline at 1 minute showed comparable specificity (76% vs 79%) to ROTEM clot amplitude at 5 minutes from tissue factor-activated ROTEM with cytochalasin D in detecting hypofibrinogenemia but correctly reclassified >50% of the patients with false negative results, leading to higher sensitivity (90% vs 77%). CONCLUSION: Severe trauma patients are characterized by a hyperfibrinolytic profile upon admission to the emergency department. The GFC assay is more sensitive than ROTEM in capturing hyperfibrinolysis and hypofibrinogenemia but requires further development and automation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Thromb Haemost

Publication Date



clot lysis time, fibrinogen, fibrinolysis, thrombelastography, trauma