Inflammation and coagulation play crucial roles in the pathogenesis of multiple chronic inflammatory disorders. Growing evidence highlights a tight mutual network in which inflammation, coagulation, and fibrinolysis play closely related roles. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), the two major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are chronic inflammatory conditions, characterized by a hypercoagulable state and prothrombotic conditions, and accompanied by abnormalities in coagulation. From a pathophysiological point of view, cells and molecules classically implicated in the physiological process of coagulation have now been shown to behave abnormally in IBD and possibly to also play an active role in disease pathogenesis and/or disease progression. This paper reviews studies performed on the coagulation profile and risk factors for thrombosis in IBD. In particular, an overview is provided of the epidemiology, clinical features, and etiology of thromboembolic complications in IBD. Furthermore, we review hemostatic abnormalities in IBD, as well as the cell types involved in such processes. Finally, we highlight the coagulation system as a dynamic participant in the multifaceted process of chronic intestinal inflammation. Overall, an overview is provided that the coagulation system represents an important, though previously underestimated, component of IBD pathogenesis, and may be a possible target for therapeutic intervention.
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