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Healthy neonates exhibit a well-functioning haemostatic system despite peculiarities regarding composition of clotting factors and inhibitors as well as impaired platelet aggregation. Thrombocytopenia and severe bleeding events are feared in sick infants. Recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa) is a haemostatic agent used as a last resort in neonates with refractory bleedings. Aim of this study was to investigate in-vitro (i) changes in thrombin generation with different platelet counts, (ii) effects of rFVIIa under conditions of thrombocytopenia and (iii) potentially differing dose-response of rFVIIa in cord blood as a surrogate for neonatal blood compared to adult blood. Thrombin generation parameters were observed in cord blood plasma and adult plasma with various platelet counts, with or without addition of rFVIIa, respectively. Low platelet counts did not influence thrombin generation in cord blood in contrast to adult blood. RFVIIa primarily affected lag time throughout all platelet concentrations. Interestingly, peak height was reduced exclusively in cord blood plasma after addition of rFVIIa. No significant differences regarding dose-response were observed between cord blood and adult blood. In contrast to adult blood, thrombocytopenia in cord blood does not significantly influence thrombin generation. Even at very low platelet counts there is enough negatively charged surface to support rFVIIa action in plasma from cord blood and adult blood in-vitro.


Harald Haidl, Sina Pohl, Bettina Leschnik, Siegfried Gallistl, Wolfgang Muntean, Axel Schlagenhauf. Neonatal thrombocytopenia: Thrombin generation in presence of reduced platelet counts and effects of rFVIIa in cord blood. Scientific reports. 2019 May 29;9(1):8014

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PMID: 31142810

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