Low levels of heparin-releasable tissue factor pathway inhibitor in young patients with thrombosis

R. A S Ariëns, G. Alberio, M. Moia, P. M. Mannucci

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An association between deficiency of tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) and thrombosis has not been clearly demonstrated in humans, but previous studies have focused on the measurement of plasma TFPI, which is only a small part of the total body TFPI. The major fraction of this natural anticoagulant can be measured in plasma after release by heparin injection. To investigate if deficiency of heparin-releasable TFPI is associated with thrombosis, we measured TFPI activity in plasma before and 10 min after intravenous injection of 7500 IU unfractionated heparin in 64 young patients with venous thrombosis, 49 young patients with arterial thrombosis and 38 healthy individuals. Post-heparin TFPI activity levels were significantly lower in the group of patients with venous thrombosis than in controls (mean ± SD: 230% ± 39 vs 260% ± 34, p = 0.0002), whereas there was no difference for patients with arterial thrombosis. Defining the normal range as the mean ± 2 SD of TFPI activity in controls, twelve patients had low postheparin TFPI activity levels, seven with venous and five with arterial thrombosis. Low levels of TFPI activity were confirmed by immunoassay in six of the seven patients with venous thrombosis and two of the five patients with arterial thrombosis, and were present also in at least one first degree relative of six patients, suggesting that the defect might be inheritable. However, the causative role of low heparin-releasable TFPI remains uncertain, because co-segregation of the defect with thrombotic symptoms could not be demonstrated in the small number of families studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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