Thromb Haemost 2019; 119(01): 056-065
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1676345
Coagulation and Fibrinolysis
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Recombinant Human Soluble Thrombomodulin in Sepsis-Induced Coagulopathy: An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Kazuma Yamakawa
1  Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Osaka General Medical Center, Osaka, Japan
Shuhei Murao
1  Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, Osaka General Medical Center, Osaka, Japan
Morio Aihara
2  Department of Gastroenterology and Hematology, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki, Japan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

31 August 2018

16 October 2018

Publication Date:
31 December 2018 (online)


Background Clinical effectiveness of recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin (rhTM) in sepsis or sepsis-induced coagulopathy remains a matter of dispute. Recently, the Sepsis Coagulopathy Asahi Recombinant LE Thrombomodulin (SCARLET) trial, the latest multinational multi-centre phase III randomized controlled trial, was completed.

Objective This article assesses the benefits and harms of rhTM therapy in sepsis-induced coagulopathy by updating our previous systematic review.

Methods We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of rhTM therapy for sepsis-induced coagulopathy in randomized controlled trials. All-cause 28-day mortality as efficacy and serious bleeding complications as the adverse effect were measured as primary outcomes. We assessed the certainty of a body of evidence at the outcome level using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach.

Results We analysed five trials enrolling 1,762 patients. Approximately 13% reduction in the risk of mortality was observed in the rhTM group, but the difference was not significant (relative risk, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.74–1.03; p = 0.10; I 2 = 0%). Risk of serious bleeding complications did not increase with rhTM administration. We judged the certainty of evidence as moderate for mortality and low for serious bleeding. Trial sequential analysis indicated that only 42.0% of the required information size is actually available at this stage to reject or accept low risk-of-bias trials examining the anticipated effect for all-cause mortality.

Conclusion Even in this updated review including the latest SCARLET trial, we currently cannot make any declarative judgments about the beneficial effects of rhTM in sepsis-induced coagulopathy, although some favourable effects were suggested.

Supplementary Material