Use of Coagulation Point-of-Care Tests in the Management of Anticoagulation and Bleeding in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: A Systematic Review

Anesth Analg. 2020 Jun;130(6):1594-1604

At present, literature data are too weak to define POCTs as a “gold standard” for the treatment of perioperative bleeding in pediatric cardiac surgery.

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Bleeding and coagulation management are essential aspects in the management of neonates and children undergoing cardiac surgery. The use of point-of-care tests (POCTs) in a pediatric setting is not as widely used as in the adult setting. This systematic review aims to summarize the evidence showed by the literature regarding the use of POCTs in children undergoing cardiac surgery. We included all studies examining the pediatric population (<18 years old) undergoing cardiac surgery in which the coagulation profile was assessed with POCTs. Three electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Controlled Clinical Trials register) were searched. Tests involved were heparin effect tests, viscoelastic tests, and platelet function tests. Due to the wide heterogeneity of the patients and tests studied, a formal meta-analysis was impossible, and the results are therefore presented through a systematic review. Eighty articles were found, of which 47 are presented in this review. At present, literature data are too weak to define POCTs as a “gold standard” for the treatment of perioperative bleeding in pediatric cardiac surgery. Nevertheless, introduction of POCTs into postoperative algorithms has shown to improve bleeding management, patient outcome, and cost efficiency.