Perioperative hyperfibrinolysis—physiology and pathophysiology
Introduction and objectives
The role of the anesthesiologist in the perioperative management of hemostasis has attracted increasing attention. The fibrinolytic system participates in hemostasis, removing clots after repair of the vascular injury. Over the past two decades, several studies have assessed the efficacy and safety of antifibrinolytic agents in reducing perioperative bleeding and transfusion requirements. Some of the conditions that seem to benefit from antifibrinolytic drugs involve trauma, postpartum hemorrhage, cardiac surgery, spine surgery, knee or hip arthroplasty, urological and gynecological surgery, among others. However, there are currently few publications focusing on the perioperative fibrinolytic system, which will be the subject of the present review.
Content and conclusions
Fibrinolytic physiology, its relationship with the clot structure and its perioperative behavior are described. Pathophysiology mechanisms that relate to anesthesiologists and their possible perioperative scenarios are addressed according to a suggested classification. This article aims to provide anesthesiologists with a broader understanding of the normal functioning of fibrinolysis, the mechanisms of possible deviations from normality in the perioperative period, the pathophysiological rationale supporting the current indications of antifibrinolytics, and some recent outcomes obtained with their use.