INTRODUCTION: Fibrin stabilizing factor (FXIII) plays a crucial role in blood clotting, tissue repair, and immune defense. FXIII deficiency after trauma can lead to prolonged wound healing due to persistent infections or coagulation disorders. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of acquired FXIII deficiency after trauma and to provide a description of the time-course changes of important coagulation parameters in relation to FXIII activity. In this context, patient characteristics, laboratory data, and treatment modalities were examined with respect to their influence on FXIII activity. Furthermore, the effects of in vitro administration of FXIII on clot firmness and outcomes in patients with severe traumatic brain injury were investigated.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Two trauma cohorts (A and B) were examined prospectively in a two-center study, and another (cohort C) was examined retrospectively. In cohort A (trauma patients, n=880) routine laboratory tests were conducted, and FXIII activity was measured. In cohort B (polytrauma patients, n=26), additional clinical parameters were collected, and in-vitro FXIII administration and rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) analyses were performed. In cohort C (polytrauma patients with severe traumatic brain injury [sTBI], n=84), the impact of initially measured FXIII activity on clinical outcomes after sTBI was investigated using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) at least 6 months after trauma.
RESULTS: The prevalence of FXIII activity <70% in cohort A was 12.4%, with significant differences in age, Hb, fibrinogen, and Hct levels, platelet count, aPTT, and INR (vs. prevalence of FXIII activity >70%). Cohort B showed a decrease in FXIII activity from 85% to 58% after 7 days. FXIII deficiency correlated with time after trauma, aPTT, and fibrinogen level, lactate, and Hb levels. In-vitro administration of FXIII showed a positive influence on clot firmness due to improved maximum clot firmness (MCF in FIBTEM) and reduced maximum lysis (ML in EXTEM). Finally, a significant difference in FXIII activity between patients after sTBI with good and poor clinical outcomes was observed 6 months after trauma.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that trauma-associated FXIII deficiency is a common coagulation disorder, with FXIII deficiency increasing further in the first 7 days after trauma, the period of early surgical care. In vitro administration of FXIII was able to demonstrate significant clot stabilizing effects. For trauma patients with sTBI, FXIII activity could serve as a prognostic parameter, as it differed significantly between patients with good and poor clinical outcomes.
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|Published - May 2023