Congruent identification of imbalanced fibrinolysis by 2 distinct clot lysis time assays

Ellen G. Driever, Julie Brogaard Larsen, Sarah Bos, William Bernal, Anne Mette Hvas, Ton Lisman*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: A plasma-based clot lysis time (CLT) assay is an established research test to assess plasma fibrinolytic potential, with application in hyperfibrinolytic or hypofibrinolytic conditions. Interprotocol variations make comparisons between laboratories challenging. The aim of this study was to compare the results of 2 different CLT assays performed by 2 distinct research laboratories by using their own protocol. Methods: We evaluated fibrinolysis in the plasma of 60 patients undergoing hepatobiliary surgery and in plasma from a healthy donor that was spiked with commonly used anticoagulant drugs (enoxaparin, dabigatran, and rivaroxaban) in 2 distinct laboratories (Aarhus and Groningen) by using 2 different assays that differ, among others, in tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) concentration. Results: Overall conclusions on fibrinolytic potential in patients undergoing hepatobiliary surgery were similar between the 2 CLT assays, with hyperfibrinolytic and hypofibrinolytic profiles identified at the same time points during and after surgery. Severe hypofibrinolysis was less commonly reported in the Aarhus assay (36/319 samples; 11%) than in the Groningen assay (55/319 samples; 17%). No clot formation was observed in 31 of 319 samples in the Aarhus assay vs 0 of 319 samples in the Groningen assay. Clotting times increased much more profoundly on the addition of all 3 anticoagulants in the Aarhus assay. Conclusions: Despite the differences in laboratory, protocol, reagents, operator, data processing, and analysis, overall conclusions on fibrinolytic capacity are similar between the 2 laboratories. With a higher concentration of tPA in the Aarhus assay, the test becomes less sensitive for the detection of hypofibrinolysis and is more sensitive to the addition of anticoagulants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100043
Number of pages8
JournalResearch and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2023


  • blood coagulation tests
  • comparative study
  • fibrin clot lysis time
  • fibrinolysis
  • tissue plasminogen activator

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