Semin Thromb Hemost 2020; 46(02): 116-124
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-3402428
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Central Role of Fibrinolytic Response in Trauma-Induced Coagulopathy: A Hematologist's Perspective

Hau C. Kwaan
1  Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
26 December 2019 (online)


Severe trauma is the leading cause of death globally. Though improved resuscitation, particularly early initiation, has reduced the 24-hour mortality rate, the overall morbidity and 30-day mortality remain high mostly due to massive hemorrhage and head injury in the early stages and sepsis and multiorgan failure later on. With recent clinical trials of antifibrinolytic treatment with tranexamic acid, and with the observations that fibrinolytic activity varies widely among the injured patients, the role of the fibrinolytic system in trauma has become a major focus of investigations in trauma-induced coagulopathy. Most of the body's response to trauma involves the endothelium, tissue factor release, and platelet activation. In addition, there are inflammatory and immune responses. All these events directly or indirectly affect the fibrinolytic system. A full understanding of these mechanisms has translational implications on the management of these patients. In this article, the multifaceted responses of fibrinolysis following injury are reviewed.