Background: Rates of venous thromboembolism are increased in thoracic malignancy; however, coagulation patterns are not established. We hypothesize that patients with esophageal and lung malignancy have similar hypercoagulable pre- and postoperative profiles as defined by rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM). Methods: Prospective study was conducted in 47 patients with esophageal and lung cancer undergoing surgical resection. ROTEM evaluated pre/postoperative coagulation status. Results: Patients with thoracic malignancy were hypercoagulable by ROTEM, but not by conventional coagulation tests. Preoperative hypercoagulability was higher in lung versus esophageal cancer (64 vs. 16%, p = 0.001). Lung cancer patients that were hypercoagulable preoperatively demonstrated decreased maximum clot firmness (MCF) (p = 0.044) and increased clot time (p = 0.049) after surgical resection, suggesting reversal of hypercoagulability. Resection of esophageal cancer increased hypercoagulability (16 vs. 56%, p = 0.002) via elevated MCF (reflecting platelet activity). Hypercoagulability remained at follow-up clinic for both lung and esophageal cancer patients. Conclusions: Hypercoagulability in patients with lung malignancies reversed following complete surgical resection, whereas hypercoagulability occurred only postoperatively in those with esophageal malignancies. In both, hypercoagulability was associated with fibrin and platelet function.
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