Background: The International Normalized Ratio (INR) is commonly used to guide therapy after hepatectomy. We hypothesized that the use of thrombelastography (TEG) would demonstrate a decreased incidence of hypocoagulability in this patient population. Methods: Seventy-eight patients were prospectively enrolled before undergoing hepatectomy. INR, TEG, and coagulation factors were drawn before incision, postoperatively, and on postoperative days 1, 3, and 5. Results: Patients demonstrated an elevated INR at all postoperative time points. However, TEG demonstrated a decreased R value postoperatively, with subsequent normalization. Other TEG measurements were equivalent to preoperative values. All procoagulant factors save factor VIII decreased postoperatively, with a simultaneous decrease in protein C. Conclusions: TEG demonstrated a brief hypercoagulable state after major hepatectomy, with coagulation subsequently normalizing. The INR significantly overestimates hypocoagulability after hepatectomy and these data call into question current practices using the INR to guide therapy in this patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas