Viscoelastic Testing Prior to Non-surgical Procedures Reduces Blood Product Use Without Increasing Bleeding Risk in Cirrhosis

Abhishek Shenoy, Jeremy Louissaint, Carol Shannon, Elliot B. Tapper, Anna S. Lok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Thromboelastography (TEG) and Rotational Thromboelastometry (ROTEM) analyze hemostatic function in patients with coagulopathy. We sought to quantify the impact of TEG and ROTEM-guided transfusion algorithms on blood product utilization in patients with cirrhosis undergoing non-surgical procedures. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on the utility of viscoelastic testing prior to non-surgical procedures to determine their impact on pre-procedural blood product use and post-procedural bleeding events. Studies comparing TEG or ROTEM-guided transfusions with standard-of-care (SOC) prior to non-surgical procedures in adult patients with cirrhosis were included. Primary outcomes were fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and platelet transfusion and secondary outcomes of post-procedure bleeding, transfusion-related complications, and mortality; and were reported as standardized mean differences (SMD) and risk ratios (RR). Results: Six studies (five randomized controlled trials and one cohort study) involving 367 patients met inclusion criteria. Compared with SOC, TEG/ROTEM-guided transfusions led to an overall decreased number of patients who received FFP transfusions (SMD = −0.93, 95% CI [−1.54, −0.33], p < 0.001) and platelets transfusions (SMD = −1.50, CI [−1.85, −1.15], p < 0.001). Total amount of FFP (SMD−0.86, p < 0.001) and platelet (SMD = −0.99, p < 0.001) transfused in the TEG/ROTEM group were also lower. Decreased pre-procedure transfusion in the TEG/ROTEM group did not result in increased post-procedure bleeding (RR = 0.61, p = 0.09) or in mortality (RR = 0.91, p = 0.93). Conclusion: In patients with cirrhosis, TEG or ROTEM significantly reduces blood product utilization prior to non-surgical procedures, with no increase in post-procedure bleeding or mortality. TEG and ROTEM utilization can promote high-value care and improve transfusion stewardship in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5290-5299
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • International normalized ratio
  • Liver disease
  • Platelets
  • Thromboelastography
  • Transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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