The detection of changes in heparin activity in the rabbit: A comparison of anti-Xa activity, Thrombelastography®, activated partial thromboplastin time, and activated coagulation time

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Thrombelastography (TEG®) has been used to detect both exogenous and endogenous circulating heparin activity in clinical and laboratory settings. Thus, in this study I sought to compare the sensitivity of TEG®, activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), and activated coagulation time (ACT) values with changes in anti-Xa activity after small-dose heparin administration in rabbits. Conscious rabbits (n = 11) had blood obtained from ear arteries for hematological analyses after the administration of 0, 10, 20, and 30 U/kg of IV heparin. Anti-Xa activities after the administration of 0, 10, 20, and 30 U/kg of heparin were, respectively, 38 ± 9 mU/mL, 74 ± 15 mU/mL, 105 ± 14 mU/mL, and 134 ± 17 mU/mL; all values were significantly different from each other. TEG® variables (R and α) significantly (P < 0.05) changed between 0, 10, and 20 U/kg heparin doses, but a difference between 20 and 30 U/kg could not be discerned secondary to loss of a detectable clot. The aPTT was significantly (P < 0.05) different between 0, 20, and 30 U/kg doses. ACT values were significantly different between the 0 U/kg heparin dose and all other doses; however, there were no significant differences between the 10, 20, and 30 U/kg heparin doses. Changes in anti-Xa activity were significantly linearly related to R (r = 0.81, P < 0.0001), α (r = -0.85, P < 0.0001), aPTT (r = 0.74, P < 0.0001), and ACT (r = 0.41, P = 0.005). In this model of small-dose heparin administration, TEG® variables were more sensitive to changes in heparin activity than aPTT and ACT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1506
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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