Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a prothrombotic disease in response to previous heparin exposure. Direct thrombin inhibitors are suitable candidates for the prophylaxis of thrombosis in patients with HIT. Currently activated clotting time and activated partial thromboplastin time are used to guide dosing and monitor anticoagulation. These assays provide a measure of clot initiation and only account for a small fraction of the coagulation pathway. In this case study we performed rotational thromboelastography (ROTEM) analysis on a patient with HIT implanted with a continuous-flow CentriMag device for left ventricular support. ROTEM evaluation confirmed a decline in activated clotting time values and provided information regarding intrinsic and extrinsic clotting times. Monitoring ROTEM parameters aided in the detection of coagulopathies and the decision to administer platelet or fresh frozen plasma products. Utilizing ROTEM can guide clinical decisions in transfusions, particularly in patients with HIT, where platelet and fibrinogen levels can be safely maintained to prevent thrombosis.
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