Hemostasis testing and therapeutic plasma exchange: Results of a practice survey

Nicole D. Zantek, Monica B. Pagano, Marian A. Rollins-Raval, Roy E. Smith, Amy E. Schmidt, Jason E. Crane, Leonard I. Boral, Yanhua Li, Annika M. Svensson, Chisa Yamada, Yanyun Wu, Edward C.C. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Performing therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) with albumin replacement decreases coagulation factor and platelet levels. No defined guidelines exist regarding laboratory testing to assess hemostasis in patients undergoing TPE. Materials and methods: A survey to evaluate hemostasis testing with TPE was distributed using online survey software. One response per institution was analyzed based on a hierarchical algorithm, excluding membrane filtration users, resulting in a maximum of 120 respondents per question. Descriptive analysis was performed with results reported as the number and/or frequency (%) of respondents to each question. Results: The practices represented vary by institution type, number of apheresis procedures per year, and performance of TPE on children. Prior to TPE planned with albumin replacement, many respondents obtain laboratory studies for almost all patients (54.9% outpatients and 68.7% inpatients); however, some do not routinely obtain laboratory studies (9.7% outpatients and 4.4% inpatients). Hemoglobin/hematocrit, platelet count, fibrinogen, partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), and international normalized ratio (INR) are obtained prior to all TPE by 62.5%, 53.4%, 31.0%, 18.1%, and 17.7% of respondents, respectively; however, 1.0%, 8.7%, 29.0%, 38.3%, and 35.4%, respectively, do not routinely obtain these studies. Variation was observed in laboratory threshold values for action; the most common reported were hemoglobin/hematocrit <7 g/dL or 21% (31.0%), platelet count <50 × 109/L (24.1%), fibrinogen <100 mg/dL (65.3%), aPTT >reference range and >1.5 times reference range (tied, 28.1%), and INR >1.5 (20.7%). Conclusions: Practice variation exists in hemostasis laboratory testing and threshold values for action with TPE. Further studies are needed to determine optimal hemostasis testing strategies with TPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Apheresis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • coagulation
  • fibrinogen
  • international normalized ratio
  • partial thromboplastin time
  • plasmapheresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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