Thromboelastography with Platelet Studies (TEG® with PlateletMapping®) After Rattlesnake Envenomation in the Southwestern United States Demonstrates Inhibition of ADP-Induced Platelet Activation As Well As Clot Lysis

  • A. Min KangEmail author
  • Erik S. Fisher
Original Article



Hematologic effects of North American rattlesnake envenomation can include fibrinogenolysis and thrombocytopenia, depending on species, geography, and other variables. During treatment, these effects are routinely monitored through assessment of fibrinogen concentrations and platelet counts. However, these tests provide no information about fibrinolysis or platelet dysfunction, both of which can also occur with venom from some species.


This was a retrospective chart review of patients admitted to a quaternary care academic hospital (Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix) in the southwestern United States for treatment of rattlesnake envenomation, over an approximately 1-year period from March 2017 through April 2018. Patients who had thromboelastography with platelet studies (TEG® with PlateletMapping®) during their care were included.


Twelve patients were identified for this study. Four patients exhibited inhibition of ADP-induced platelet activation: one had normal fibrinogen and platelet count, two had concurrent hypofibrinogenemia, and one had concurrent thrombocytopenia. Crotalidae polyvalent immune Fab (ovine) reversed platelet inhibition in the single patient for whom serial thromboelastographs were available. Fibrinolysis was present in seven patients and resolved in the two patients with serial thromboelastographs.


Inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation and fibrinolysis occurred independent of hypofibrinogenemia and thrombocytopenia, indicating fibrinogen concentration (or protime) and platelet count monitoring alone is insufficient to assess the extent of hematologic toxicity in rattlesnake envenomation. Crotalidae polyvalent immune Fab (ovine) reversed platelet inhibition in one case, suggesting platelet inhibition could also be used in treatment decisions. Fibrinolysis could also be reversed, although the timing to antivenom administration was less clear.


Thromboelastography (TEG) with PlateletMapping Platelet activation Rattlesnake envenomation Antivenom Fibrinolysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest



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Copyright information

© American College of Medical Toxicology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child Health; and Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology and Precision MedicineUniversity of Arizona College of Medicine – PhoenixPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical ToxicologyBanner – University Medical Center PhoenixPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Section of ToxicologyPhoenix Children’s HospitalPhoenixUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology and Precision MedicineUniversity of Arizona College of Medicine – PhoenixPhoenixUSA

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