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Insights into the association between coagulopathy and inflammation: abnormal clot mechanics are a warning of immunologic dysregulation following major injury



Severe injury initiates a complex physiologic response encompassing multiple systems and varies phenotypically between patients. Trauma-induced coagulopathy may be an early warning of a poorly coordinated response at the molecular level, including a deleterious immunologic response and worsening of shock states. The onset of trauma-induced coagulopathy (TIC) may be subtle however. In previous work, we identified an early warning sign of coagulopathy from the admission thromboelastogram, called the MAR ratio. We hypothesized that a low MAR ratio would be associated with specific derangements in the inflammatory response.


In this prospective, observational study, 88 blunt trauma patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) were identified. Concentrations of inflammatory mediators were recorded serially over the course of a week and the MAR ratio was calculated from the admission thromboelastogram. Correlation analysis was used to assess the relationship between MAR and inflammatory mediators. Dynamic network analysis was used to assess coordination of immunologic response.


Seventy-nine percent of patients were male and mean age was 37 years (SD 12). The mean ISS was 30.2 (SD 12) and mortality was 7.2%. CRITICAL patients (MAR ratio ≤14.2) had statistically higher shock volumes at three time points in the first day compared to NORMAL patients (MAR ratio >14.2). CRITICAL patients had significant differences in IL-6 (P=0.0065), IL-8 (P=0.0115), IL-10 (P=0.0316) and MCP-1 (P=0.0039) concentrations compared to NORMAL. Differences in degree of expression and discoordination of immune response continued in CRITICAL patients throughout the first day.


The admission MAR ratio may be the earliest warning signal of a pathologic inflammatory response associated with hypoperfusion and TIC. A low MAR ratio is an early indication of complicated dysfunction of multiple molecular processes following trauma.

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