Calibrated automated thrombogram II: removing barriers for thrombin generation measurements

P.L.A. Giesen, A.J.W. Gulpen, R. van Oerle, H. ten Cate, M. Nagy, H.M.H. Spronk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Thrombin generation (TG) assessed by Calibrated Automated Thrombogram (CAT-I) reflects the overall capacity of plasma to generate thrombin, thus evaluating the balance between the anti- and procoagulant processes. However, with this method the calibrator curve is usually not measured until completion which has a severe impact on the calculation of the TG parameters, especially under conditions where almost all substrate is consumed. In addition, direct thrombin inhibitor (DTI) cannot be present in the calibration sample due to inhibition of the calibrator. We have developed a modified TG assay (CAT-II) and performed head-to-head comparison with the CAT-I method using the same fluorometer. Furthermore, we have compared our CAT-II method to a new automated TG instrument (ST (R)-Genesia) using the same calibration method.Methods: TG was assessed with CAT-I and CAT-II using the same fulorometer and with ST (R)-Genesia in control plasma and plasma containing different anticoagulants (dabigatran, rivaroxaban, apixaban) and plasmas to which common interfering substances, bilirubin, hemoglobin and lipids were added. In CAT-I, calibration was against the same plasma containing calibrator in the presence of fluorogenic substrate (Z-GGR-AMC). In contrast, CAT-II method and ST (R)-Genesia used a standard concentration of thrombin in buffer and 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin (AMC) in a separate plasma sample for calibration.Results: TG obtained from CAT-I using anticoagulant-free plasmas was lower compared with TG from CAT-II but both methods demonstrated an intra-assay variation less than 5% on all measured parameters. When comparing the two different calibration methods in the presence of different anticoagulants, a high correlation was seen in the presence of rivaroxaban and apixaban (R-2 > 0.97), but not with dabigatran, a direct thrombin inhibitor. CAT-II method showed dose-dependent inhibition of TG in the presence of dabigatran, while CAT-I was not able to detect it. Both methods were able to correct for the interfering substances.Conclusions: Our results showed high similarity between the results of CAT-I and CAT-II method when it is applied in control plasmas and plasmas not inhibited with a direct thrombin inhibitor. Furthermore, both the CAT-II method and ST-Genesia using the same calibration method were able to detect the effect of all oral anticoagulants. Taken together, applying a new calibration method is a significant improvement for monitoring patients on direct thrombin inhibitors while not introducing any bias to results obtained on other types of samples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Number of pages11
JournalThrombosis Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021


  • Thrombin generation
  • Calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT)
  • ST (R)-Genesia
  • Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACS)

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