Bedside coagulation monitoring in heparin-treated patients with active thromboembolic disease: A coronary care unit experience

Journal Article

Patients with active venous and arterial thromboembolic disorders are known to benefit from systemic anticoagulation with heparin. Clinical studies have shown, however, that therapeutic anticoagulation is rarely achieved rapidly and often is not maintained over time. Prolonged laboratory turnaround time of the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) may contribute directly to these common problems. A total of 272 aPTT determinations were performed on 120 heparin-treated patients admitted to the coronary care unit. The time from sample collection to data availability was 126 ± 84 minutes with standard laboratory aPTT testing. In contrast, a bedside coagulation device provided an aPTT within 3 minutes (p < 0.001). Subtherapeutic aPTT values (<65 seconds) were documented in 21% of all patients; in each, the heparin dose was changed and a repeat aPTT was required. In a separate study of 33 heparinized patients randomized to either bedside or central laboratory aPTT testing (264 aPTT determinations), the time to achieve a therapeutic state of systemic anticoagulation was 8.2 hours and 18.1 hours, respectively (p < 0.005). The time from aPTT determination to a decision regarding heparin titration adjustments was 14.5 minutes and 3 hours with bedside and laboratory testing, respectively (p < 0.001). Thus bedside coagulation monitoring provides a convenient, rapid, and accurate assessment of systemic anticoagulation among heparin-treated patients with active thromboembolic disease in the coronary care unit. This technology warrants further clinical investigation. © 1994.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Becker, RC; Cyr, J; Corrao, JM; Ball, SP

Published Date

  • 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 128 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 719 - 723

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-8703

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0002-8703(94)90270-4