In order to investigate the significance of high circulating levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF), recently observed in patients with vascular diseases, we compared the plasma levels of vWF with those of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and the platelet content of serotonin (5-HT) in 40 patients with Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), primary or associated to systemic sclerosis (SSc), and in 14 patients with chronic peripheral obstructive disease due to arteriosclerosis (PAOD). VWF and t-PA plasma levels were significantly increased (p <0.001) in SSc (vWF: 158.2, range 116.3-305.0%; t-PA: 10.2, range 6.4-17.8 ng/ml). By contrast, normal plasma levels of both vWF (85.3, range 53.5-157.0%) and t-PA (6.5, range 2.7-9.3 ng/ml) were observed in primary RP. VWF and t-PA were normal in PAOD patients, compared with age-matched healthy controls (vWF: 143.0, range 57.0-204.0%; t-PA: 7.5, range 3.4-13.6, ng/ml). The platelet content of 5-HT was within the normal range (37.3-99.7 ng/10(8) platelets) in RP patients, but significantly reduced (P <0.05) in PAOD patients (39.0, range 14.7-91.4). Our data suggest that the different pattern of circulating vWF and t-PA between SSc and arteriosclerotic patients may be related to a different endothelial cell involvement. Whether this increase may reflect active attempts of regeneration and repair, indicating endothelial cell viability rather than damage is a matter of speculation.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||International journal of microcirculation, clinical and experimental / sponsored by the European Society for Microcirculation|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1992|
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