Systematic review and meta-analysis of the clinical effectiveness of point-of-care testing for anticoagulation management during ECMO

F. Jiritano*, D. Fina, R. Lorusso, H. ten Cate, M. Kowalewski, M. Matteucci, R. Serra, P. Mastroroberto, G.F. Serraino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Study objective: Viscoelastic point-of-care (POC) tests are commonly used to provide prompt diagnosis of coagulopathy and allow targeted treatments in bleeding patients on ECMO. We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of point-of-care (POC) testing for anticoagulation management in patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Eligible studies evaluating the use of thromboelastography- or thromboelastometry-guided algorithms, anti-factor Xa and platelet function testing were selected after screening the literature from July 1975 to January 2020.Setting: Patients on ECMO support. Patients: Anticoagulation management on ECMO patients.Interventions: Rotational thromboelastometry, thromboelastography, alone or combined with platelet function testing. Trials monitoring the anticoagulation effects during ECMO using an anti-factor Xa assay were included in the systematic review.Measurements: The primary outcomes were bleeding events, surgical revisions, thrombosis events and ECMO circuit change/failure. Secondary outcomes were blood-product transfusions, cerebrovascular accidents, mortality on ECMO, ECMO duration, intensive care unit and hospital discharge rates, and in-hospital mortality.Main results: Thirty-one trials enrolling 1684 participants were included in the systematic review. Four trials enrolling 547 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. The use of a POC testing device resulted in improved detection of surgical bleeding (RR: 0.68, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.94, I2 = 0%; chi 2 test for heterogeneity, P = 0.02). The use of POC-guided algorithms did not affect bleeding (RR:0.78, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.04, I2 = 47%; chi 2 test for heterogeneity, P = 0.09), thrombosis events (RR:1.35, 95% CI 0.86 to 2.12, I2 = 37%; chi 2 test for heterogeneity, P = 0.19), or ECMO circuit/change (RR:0.90, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.71, I2 = 28%; chi 2 test for heterogeneity, P = 0.75).Conclusion: Routine use of POC tests did not improve the main clinical outcomes beyond suggesting a diagnosis of surgical bleeding in ECMO patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110330
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Anesthesia
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Viscoelastic test
  • Anticoagulation
  • Point of care
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Bleeding

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