Utility of clot waveform analysis in Russell's viper bite victims with hematotoxicity

Siju Abraham, Aboobacker Rafi, S. Krishnan, Babu Palatty, Susheela Innah, Jerry Johny, Salish Varghese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: In Russell's viper bites, due to the lack of a better alternative, whole blood clotting test (WBCT) remains the standard test even though its reliability and sensitivity has been shown to be low. Activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT)-based clot waveform analysis (CWA) is an optic absorbance assay that can be used as a global clotting test. In this study, the objective was to assess the changes in CWA and to compare CWA to WBCT and aPTT in patients with Russell's viper envenomation. Methods: The datum was collected prospectively over 2 months as a pilot observational study in a tertiary care center. All proven cases of Russell's viper-envenomated individuals with preliminary CWA data and WBCT were included in the study. The clot wave (CW) of the five individuals, which met all the stringent inclusion criteria, was analyzed and interpreted. Results: CW absorbance sigmoid waveform was deranged in all 5 cases, of which 4 showed a change in CWA even before an abnormal aPTT. Three of the 5 had a normal WBCT but showed early changes in CWA. Atypical biphasic waveform reported in disseminated intravascular coagulation in other prior studies is seen in venom-induced consumptive coagulopathy also. In all patients where a second derivative was plotted, the second (lower) phase of the second derivative showed a slow rise to baseline. Conclusion: CWA showed changes which provided information earlier than the conventional coagulation studies in the snakebite victims studied. While aPTT or WBCT reflects clotting time, CWA conveys the dynamic process of clot formation and stabilization. CWA may reveal disorders of clotting in snakebite victims before the conventional tests become abnormal. Future research should assess the speed and accuracy of the test in diagnosing hemotoxic envenomation and its potential role in guiding antivenom therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


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