Background - Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by a complex spectrum of coagulopathy ranging from hemorrhagic to thrombotic symptoms. To date, platelet count (PLT) and conventional coagulation tests (CCTs) cannot predict hemorrhagic events and thrombotic risk. Thromboelastography (TEG) measures the viscoelastic properties of the clot, thus providing information on the entire process of blood coagulation. The primary aim of the study was to assess the hemostatic balance from AML diagnosis to the end of chemotherapy (CHT) by TEG.
Material and methods - Here we present the results of a prospective study enrolling newly diagnosed AML patients treated with chemotherapy. Patients had complete blood counts (CBCs), TEG and CCTs performed at three time points: 1) diagnosis (T0); 2) during the first cycle of CHT (T1); and 3) at the end of CHT (T2). An algorithm of TEG indirectly calculated thrombin generation (TG). Patients underwent daily follow-up for bleeding and thrombotic episodes up to the time of hospital discharge or death.
Results - Eighty consecutive patients were evaluated; forty were eligible for the study, and 21 completed the entire study. At T1, maximum amplitude (MA), TG and K-time were significantly shifted toward a hypocoagulability state compared to T0 (p<0.05), while a hypercoagulable state at T2 was shown by changes in α-angle, MA and TG values. Otherwise, there were no statistically significant differences in CCTs between the evaluated time points.
Discussion - Overall, TEG revealed complex and dynamic coagulation abnormalities in patients with AML according to both the course of disease and therapy. Further studies are needed to investigate more fully the role of TEG in defining the hemostatic profile in patients with AML.
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