Plasma is ineffective in correcting mildly elevated PT-INR in critically ill children: A retrospective observational study

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Background: Fresh frozen plasma transfusion is widely utilized in pediatric clinical practice to correct mild coagulopathy. Several studies on adult population have shown that transfusion of plasma cannot effectively correct mild coagulopathy when international normalized ratio (INR) is ≤1.5. Much controversy exists about the generalization of this finding for pediatric populations, especially since pediatric dosages often exceed those in adults. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of plasma transfusion with mild coagulopathy (INR ≤ 1.5) and its effectiveness in a pediatric setting. Methods: In our tertiary referral hospital, we retrospectively reviewed the electronic medical records of all patients who received plasma (April to October 2011) for mildly elevated prothrombin time (PT)-INR levels (≤1.5) and had post-transfusion PT-INR measurements; patients who received intraoperative, ECMO, or plasma exchange-related plasma transfusions were excluded from this study. We abstracted demographic data and pre- and post coagulation test results for the patients included in our study. Results: Among 468 plasma transfusions administered to 285 patients from April to June 2011, 60 plasma transfusions (12.8%) were given to patients with PT-INR ≤ 1.5 (range 1.3-1.5). Forty-one patients [median age 2.5 years (IQR, 0.14 to 13.75 years), median weight of 16.0 kg (IQR, 8.0 to 69.3 kg)] who received 41 single plasma transfusions [median dose 11 mL/Kg (IQR, 6-15)] had post-transfusion PT-INR measurements and were included in our study. There was no significant difference in their PT-INR values (p = 0.34) pre- and post-transfusion. Of our study, only 15.4% patients showed post-transfusion normalization [median change in PT-INR 0.15 (IQR, 0.1-0.2)] and were not different from the remaining 85% in age, plasma dose, and bleeding status. Conclusions: The prevalence of plasma transfusion for correction of mildly elevated PT-INR levels in critically ill children is high (12.8%). Plasma transfusion showed no significant effect in correcting minor prolongation of PT-INR in pediatric patients regardless of age, volume of plasma transfused per kilogram (dosage), or bleeding status.




Soundar, E. P., Besandre, R., Hartman, S. K., Teruya, J., & Hui, S. K. R. (2014). Plasma is ineffective in correcting mildly elevated PT-INR in critically ill children: A retrospective observational study. Journal of Intensive Care, 2(1).

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