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Cryoprecipitate for the correction of coagulopathy associated with liver disease

Department of Intensive Care and Liver Transplantation Unit, Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, Melbourne, Victoria


In patients with liver disease at risk of pulmonary oedema, cryoprecipitate (small volume) might be a viable alternative to fresh frozen plasma (FFP, large volume) in the correction of coagulopathy. However, the efficacy of cryoprecipitate in these patients has not been tested. We evaluated the role of cryoprecipitate in the correction of the coagulopathy of liver disease. To establish initial evidence of efficacy, six consecutive patients with hepatic failure and coagulopathy received five units of cryoprecipitate. Then, using a crossover design, 11 consecutive patients were randomized to receive either four units of FFP or five units of cryoprecipitate. Pre and post infusion International Normalized Ratio (INR), activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (aPTT), fibrinogen D-dimers, Factors V and IX, and reptilase time were measured. In the first six patients, cryoprecipitate improved the INR, aPTT and fibrinogen concentration (P=0.03). In the crossover study, FFP administration produced a greater improvement in INR (P=0.007) and aPTT (P=0.005) than cryoprecipitate. However, there were no differences in any of the other measured variables. One patient developed acute pulmonary oedema while receiving FFP. Cryoprecipitate improves the coagulopathy of liver disease. Four units of FFP are more efficacious than five units of cryoprecipitate. Cryoprecipitate may have a role in correction of the coagulopathy associated with liver disease where concerns about pulmonary oedema exist.

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