Adequate monitoring of the effect of the direct thrombin inhibitor argatroban may facilitate individualized dosing and perioperative management of anticoagulation. Ecarin Clotting Time is proposed for this purpose, but has the major disadvantage of limited availability. There is a point-of-care applicable ecarin-activated test modification for rotational thrombelastometry (ROTEM®) which is sensitive to direct thrombin inhibitors. The aim of the study was to evaluate the correlation between argatroban concentration and this ecarin modified thrombelastometry (EMT).
In this in vitro experiment, blood drawn from healthy volunteers was spiked with argatroban at clinically relevant concentrations and analyzed with ROTEM® using EMT. The main endpoint was the clotting time (CT).
EMT-CT was prolonged with increasing argatroban concentrations (from 83.3 ± 6.7 s without argatroban to 743.5 ± 138.2 s at 2 μg/ml argatroban). The correlation between argatroban concentration and EMT-CT was high (r = 0.94) and statistically significant (p < 0.01).
These promising preclinical results mandate further clinical research to determine an EMT-CT target range regarding the clinical outcomes of thrombosis and bleeding.