Background: Twenty-minute whole blood clotting test (20WBCT) and Modified Lee and White (MLW) method are the most routinely employed bedside tests for detecting coagulopathic snake envenomation. Our study compared the diagnostic utility of MLW and 20WBCT for snakebite victims at a tertiary care hospital in Central Kerala, South India. Methods: This single-center study recruited 267 patients admitted with snake bites. 20WBCT and MLW were performed simultaneously at admission along with the measurement of Prothrombin Time (PT). The diagnostic utility of 20WBCT and MLW was determined by comparing the sensitivity (Sn), specificity (Sp), positive and negative predictive values, likelihood ratios, and accuracy at admission with an INR value > 1.4. Results: Out of 267 patients, 20 (7.5%) patients had VICC. Amongst those who had venom-induced consumption coagulopathy (VICC), MLW was prolonged for 17 patients, (Sn 85% 95% confidence interval [CI]: 61.1-96.0) whereas 20WBCT was abnormal for 11 patients (Sn 55%, 95% CI: 32.04-76.17). MLW and 20WBCT were falsely positive for the same patient (Sp 99.6%, 95% CI: 97.4-99.9%). Conclusion: MLW is more sensitive than 20WBCT to detect coagulopathy at the bedside amongst snakebite victims. However, further studies are necessary for standardizing bedside coagulation tests in snakebite cases.
Keywords: 20-minute whole blood clotting test; Modified Lee and White method; Venom-induced consumption coagulopathy; Conventional coagulation tests; Prothrombin time