Reference intervals for rotational thromboelastometry measurements using the ROTEM® delta device in dogs
Aims of the present study were to define reference intervals for viscoelastic analyses of canine haemostasis using the ROTEM® delta analyser, and as a secondary aspect to determine the precision (repeatability) of this method. Blood samples from 125 clinically healthy dogs were included. Measurements were performed with commercially available activating reagents (ex-tem, in-tem and kaolin solution) as well as without activation. Additional fourfold measurements were done in 3 of the normal blood samples and in 3 samples with haemostatic alterations to evaluate the precision of the method. Coefficients of variation (CVs) for most of the ROTEM variables were < 10%. Clot formation time and maximum clot elasticity showed a wide inter-individual variation in comparison with alpha angle and maximum clot firmness. A multivariate analysis on various ROTEM parameters revealed particularly a significant influence of neuter status and a significant interrelationship between the factors sex and neuter status for measurements with different activating reagents. These results reflected the fact that significant differences occurred only between intact and neutered females, but not in males. No or only occasionally significant differences were found between groups of sex, age, and size. In conclusion, CVs demonstrated that the method delivers repeatable results in canine citrated whole blood. Established reference intervals should deliver valuable orientation for the evaluation of viscoelastic properties of clotting whole blood in dogs using the ROTEM delta analyser. Neuter status in females appeared to be the most relevant influencing factor and should be considered for the interpretation of ROTEM delta test results.