Educational opportunity from Rajiv K. Pruthi, MBBS, Maureane R. Hoffman, MD, PhD, and James Munn, BS, BSN, MS
After participating in this activity, participants should be better able to:
Review recent advances in the scientific understanding of hemostasis and the mechanisms by which hemostatic therapies work to counteract bleeding disorders
Summarize factors that can negatively affect the accuracy of hemostatic assays for the diagnosis and monitoring of bleeding disorders
Outline the benefits and limitations of investigational methods of assessing hemostasis, including global hemostatic assays and chromogenic assays
Describe how novel factor replacement therapies may impact standard practice for hemostatic monitoring
The challenges in diagnosing and monitoring bleeding disorders lie in the sensitivity of the tests, the complicated algorithms for investigating and interpreting results, the potential for assay discrepancy and inaccuracy, and intra- and inter-laboratory variability. Predicting and monitoring patient response to factor replacement products is equally challenging, and traditional diagnostic assays do not always provide adequate information regarding the hemostatic activity of these agents. All of these issues increase the risk of misdiagnosis or suboptimal management.