Thromboelastography Changes of Whole Blood Compared to Blood Component Transfusion in Infant Craniosynostosis Surgery

Olivia Nelson, Lezhou Wu, Jordan W. Swanson, Grace Hsu, Michele P. Lambert, Amrom Obstfeld, Princy Thottathil, Brittany L. Wohler, Paul A. Stricker, Allan F. Simpao, Jorge A. Galvez

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Surgical treatment of craniosynostosis with cranial vault reconstruction in infants is associated with significant blood loss. The optimal blood management approach is an area of active investigation. Thromboelastography (TEG) was used to examine changes in coagulation after surgical blood loss that was managed by transfusion with either whole blood or blood components. Transfusion type was determined by availability of whole blood from the blood bank. This retrospective study examined differences in posttransfusion TEG maximum amplitude (MA), a measure of the maximum clot strength, for patients transfused with whole blood or blood components. We included all patients less than 24 months old who underwent cranial vault remodeling, received intraoperative transfusions with whole blood or blood components, and had baseline and posttransfusion TEG measured. Whole blood was requested for all patients and was preferentially used when it was available from the American Red Cross. Of 48 eligible patients, 30 received whole blood and 18 received blood components. All patients received an intraoperative antifibrinolytic agent. The posttransfusion MA in the whole blood group was 61.8 mm (IQR 59.1, 64.1) compared to 57.9 mm (IQR 50.5, 60.9) in the blood components group (P ¼ 0.010). There was a greater posttransfusion decrease in MA for patients transfused with blood components (median decrease of 7.7 mm [IQR 3.4, 6.3]) compared with whole blood (median decrease of 2.1 mm [IQR 9.6, 7.5] P < 0.001). Transfusion with blood components was associated with a greater decrease in MA that was likely related to decreased postoperative fibrinogen in this group. Patients who received whole blood had higher postoperative fibrinogen levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Blood transfusion
  • Cranial vault reconstruction
  • Infants
  • Thromboelastography
  • Whole blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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