Prothrombin complex concentrate reduces blood loss and enhances thrombin generation in a pig model with blunt liver injury under severe hypothermia

Markus Honickel, Annette D. Rieg, Rolf Rossaint, Till Braunschweig, Henri M. H. Spronk, Hugo ten Cate, Rene van Oerle, Rene Tolba, Oliver Grottke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) is increasingly used for the treatment of trauma-induced coagulopathy, few studies have investigated the impact and safety of PCC for this indication. The present study was performed to assess PCC for treatment of coagulopathy after blunt liver injury under severe hypothermia. Coagulopathy in 14 anaesthetised pigs was induced by haemodilution. Subsequently, standardised blunt liver injury was induced under severe hypothermia (32.8-33.2 degrees C). Animals were randomised to receive either PCC (35 IU kg(-1)) or saline (control). Coagulation was assessed over the following 2 hours by thromboelastometry and thrombin generation. Internal organs were examined to determine presence of emboli. The administration of PCC showed a significant reduction in blood loss (p=0.002 vs. controls) and a significant increase in the rate of survival (p=0.022 vs. controls). Plasma thrombin generation in the PCC group increased considerably above baseline levels, with significant increases in peak thrombin levels and endogenous thrombin potential versus controls throughout the follow-up period. In addition, PT decreased significantly in the PCC group versus the control group. However, only slight improvements in thromboelastometry variables were observed. Histology showed an equal degree of liver injury in both groups, and no thromboembolism. In severely hypothermic pigs, the application of PCC corrected trauma-induced coagulopathy and reduced blood loss. Thus, the infusion of PCC might be a reasonable approach to reduce the need for blood cell transfusion in trauma. Furthermore, the impact and safety of PCC application can be monitored through thrombin generation and thromboelastometry under hypothermia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-733
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Haemostasis
  • shock
  • thromboelastometry
  • trauma
  • prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC)
  • thrombin generation


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