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Diagnostic characteristics of the 20-minute whole blood clotting test in detecting venom-induced consumptive coagulopathy following carpet viper envenoming

Tianyi, Frank, Hamza, Muhammad, Abubakar, Saidu B., Al Solaiss, Jaffer, Trelfa, Anna, Abdullahi, Hadiza L., Iliyasu, Garba, Mohammed, Nuhu, Mohammed, Suleman A., Casewell, Nicholas ORCID:, Harrison, Robert, Lalloo, David ORCID:, Stienstra, Ymkje and Habib, Abdulrazaq G. (2023) 'Diagnostic characteristics of the 20-minute whole blood clotting test in detecting venom-induced consumptive coagulopathy following carpet viper envenoming'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 17, Issue 6, e0011442.

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Envenoming by Echis spp. (carpet or saw-scaled vipers) causes haemorrhage and coagulopathy and represents a significant proportion of snakebites in the savannah regions of West Africa. Early diagnosis of envenoming is crucial in the management of these patients and there is limited evidence on the utility of the 20-minute whole blood clotting test (20WBCT) in diagnosing venom-induced consumptive coagulopathy (VICC) following envenoming by Echis ocellatus.

A prospective observational cohort study was conducted at the Kaltungo General Hospital in North-eastern Nigeria from September 2019 to September 2021. Standardised 20WBCTs were conducted by trained hospital staff and citrated plasma samples were collected at numerous timepoints. Prothrombin time (PT) and international normalised ratio (INR) were determined using a semi-automated analyser and INR values were calculated using international sensitivity indices (ISI). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values (PPV), negative predictive values (NPV), and likelihood ratios of the 20WBCT compared to an INR ≥ 1.4 were calculated, alongside 95% confidence intervals.

We enrolled 121 patients into our study, with a median age of 26 (18.0–35.0) years and a male predominance (75.2%). The 20WBCT was positive (abnormal) in 101 out of 121 patients at timepoint 0h, of which 95 had an INR ≥ 1.4, giving a sensitivity of 87.2% (95%CI 79.4–92.8). Among patients with a negative 20WBCT (normal), six had an INR < 1.4 giving a specificity of 50% (95%CI 21.1–78.9%). The positive and negative likelihood ratios were 1.7 (95%CI 1.6–1.9) and 0.3 (95%CI 0.1–0.4) respectively.

The 20WBCT is a simple, cheap, and easily accessible bedside test with a high sensitivity for the detection of patients with venom induced consumptive coagulopathy (VICC) following envenoming by E. ocellatus, although false positives do occur. Repeated 20WBCTs can identify patients with new, persistent, and rebound coagulopathy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 680 Tropical diseases (General)
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Clare Bennett
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2023 11:14
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2023 11:14


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