Effects of inhalable particulate matter on blood coagulation

M. Bonzini, A. Tripodi, A. Artoni, L. Tarantini, B. Marinelli, P. A. Bertazzi, P. Apostoli, A. Baccarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Particulate matter (PM) exposure has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, possibly resulting from hypercoagulability and thrombosis. Lung and systemic inflammation resulting from PM inhalation may activate blood coagulation, but mechanisms for PM-related hypercoagulability are still largely unknown. Objectives: To identify coagulation mechanisms activated by PM in a population with well-characterized exposure. Methods: We measured prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time, endogenous thrombin potentials (ETPs) with/without exogenous triggers and with/without soluble thrombomodulin, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen, D-dimer and C-reactive protein (CRP) in 37 workers in a steel production plant with well-characterized exposure to PM with aerodynamic diameter of <1 μm (PM1) and coarse PM (PM10 - PM1). Blood samples were collected from each subject on the first (baseline) and last (postexposure) day of a 4-day work week. We analyzed differences between baseline and postexposure levels using a paired Student's t-test. We fitted multivariate mixed-regression models to estimate the associations of interquartile range PM1 and coarse PM exposure with parameter levels. Results: None of the parameters showed any significant changes from baseline in postexposure samples. However, exposure levels were associated with shorter PT (β[PM1] = -0.33 s, P = 0.08; β[PMcoarse] = - 0.33 s, P = 0.01), and higher ETP without exogenous triggers and with thrombomodulin (β[PM1] = + 99 nm min, P = 0.02; β[PMcoarse] = + 66 nm min, P = 0.05), t-PA (β[PM1] = + 0.72 ng mL-1, P = 0.01; β[PMcoarse] = + 0.88 ng mL-1, P = 0.04), and CRP (β[PM1] = + 0.59 mg L-1, P = 0.03; β[PMcoarse] = + 0.48 mg L-1, P = 0.01). Conclusions: PM exposure did not show any short-term effect within the week of the study. The association of PM exposure with PT, ETP and CRP provides some evidence of long-term effects on inflammation and coagulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-668
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Coagulation
  • Endogenous thrombin potential
  • Environmental risk factors
  • Occupational health
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of inhalable particulate matter on blood coagulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this