An open-label study of the role of adjuvant hemostatic support with protein C replacement therapy in purpura fulminans-associated meningococcemia. (17/402)

Activated protein C (APC) is a natural anticoagulant that plays a pivotal role in coagulation homeostasis. Severe inherited or acquired deficiency results in a clinical syndrome called purpura fulminans. In addition, APC also appears to have potent cytokine-modifying properties and is protective in animal models of sepsis. The dual functional properties of APC are particularly relevant to severe meningococcemia, where acquired PC deficiency is accompanied by multiorgan failure and purpura fulminans. The authors conducted an open-label prospective study assessing the efficacy of PC replacement therapy in patients with severe meningococcal septicemia, purpura fulminans, and multiorgan failure. The morbidity and mortality were compared with predicted morbidity using the Glasgow Meningococcal Septicemia Prognostic Score. Thirty-six patients with a mean age of 12 years (range 3 months to 72 years) were enrolled in the study. The mean +/- SD for plasma PC was 18 +/- 7 IU/mL. PC was significantly lower than antithrombin or protein S and was also significantly lower than PC levels in a cohort of patients who developed meningococcemia without multiorgan failure and purpura fulminans. A total of 3 of 36 (8%) patients died, which compares favorably with predicted mortality of 18 of 36 (50%). Amputations were required in 4 of 33 (12%) survivors and in 2 of 31 (6.5%) patients who received PC within 24 hours of admission into the hospital, in comparison with the predicted amputation rate of 11 of 33 (30%). In conclusion, PC replacement therapy in severe meningococcal septicemia was associated with a reduction in predicted morbidity and mortality. The beneficial effect of PC replacement may reflect both the anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties of the PC pathway. (Blood. 2000;96:3719-3724)  (+info)

Vitamin K supplementation reduces serum concentrations of under-gamma-carboxylated osteocalcin in healthy young and elderly adults. (18/402)

BACKGROUND: Subclinical vitamin K insufficiency, manifested by under-gamma-carboxylation of the bone matrix protein osteocalcin, may be common. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to delineate the prevalence of submaximal gamma-carboxylation as assessed by response to phylloquinone supplementation and to evaluate the effect of this intervention on skeletal turnover in healthy North American adults. DESIGN: Healthy subjects (n = 219), approximately equally distributed by sex and age (18-30 y and >/=65 y), received daily phylloquinone (1000 microg) or placebo for 2 wk. Serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) and total osteocalcin, N:-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP), and phylloquinone concentrations were measured at baseline and after weeks 1 and 2. RESULTS: At baseline, the mean serum phylloquinone concentration was lower in the young than in the old group; there was no effect of sex. Concomitantly, baseline %ucOC was highest in the young and lowest in the old men (P: < 0.0001) but did not differ significantly by age in women. After supplementation, serum phylloquinone concentration increased approximately 10-fold (P: < 0.0001) at week 1 (from 0.93 +/- 0.08 to 8.86 +/- 0.70 nmol/L, x+/- SEM); this was sustained through week 2. Among all supplemented groups, mean %ucOC decreased from 7.6% to 3. 4% without significant differences by age or sex; 102 of 112 subjects had a >1% decrease. Phylloquinone supplementation reduced serum osteocalcin but did not alter NTx or BSAP concentration. CONCLUSIONS: Usual dietary practices in this population did not provide adequate vitamin K for maximal osteocalcin carboxylation. Phylloquinone supplementation reduced serum osteocalcin concentration but did not alter other markers of serum bone turnover.  (+info)

Bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in fibrinogen-null mice. (19/402)

Mice deleted for the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) gene are relatively protected from developing pulmonary fibrosis induced by bleomycin. We hypothesized that PAI-1 deficiency reduces fibrosis by promoting plasminogen activation and accelerating the clearance of fibrin matrices that accumulate within the damaged lung. In support of this hypothesis, we found that the lungs of PAI-1(-/-) mice accumulated less fibrin after injury than wild-type mice, due in part to enhanced fibrinolytic activity. To further substantiate the importance of fibrin removal as the mechanism by which PAI-1 deficiency limited bleomycin-induced fibrosis, bleomycin was administered to mice deficient in the gene for the Aalpha-chain of fibrinogen (fib). Contrary to our expectation, fib(-/-) mice developed pulmonary fibrosis to a degree similar to fib(+/-) littermate controls, which have a plasma fibrinogen level that is 70% of that of wild-type mice. Although elimination of fibrin from the lung was not in itself protective, the beneficial effect of PAI-1 deficiency was still associated with proteolytic activity of the plasminogen activation system. In particular, inhibition of plasmin activation and/or activity by tranexamic acid reversed both the accelerated fibrin clearance and the protective effect of PAI-1 deficiency. We conclude that protection from fibrosis by PAI-1 deficiency is dependent upon increased proteolytic activity of the plasminogen activation system; however, complete removal of fibrin is not sufficient to protect the lung.  (+info)

Thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor and an antifibrinolytic pathway. (20/402)

Coagulation and fibrinolysis are processes that form and dissolve fibrin, respectively. These processes are exquisitely regulated and protect the organism from excessive blood loss or excessive fibrin deposition. Regulation of these cascades is accomplished by a variety of mechanisms involving cellular responses, flow, and protein-protein interactions. With respect to regulation mediated by protein-protein interaction, the coagulation cascade appears to be more complex than the fibrinolytic cascade because it has more components. Yet each cascade is regulated by initiators, cofactors, feedback reactions, and inhibitors. Coagulation is also controlled by an anticoagulant pathway composed of (minimally) thrombin, thrombomodulin, and protein C.(1) Protein C is converted by the thrombin/thrombomodulin complex to activated protein C (APC), which catalyzes the proteolytic inactivation of the essential cofactors required for thrombin formation, factors Va and VIIIa. An analogous antifibrinolytic pathway has been identified recently. This pathway provides an apparent symmetry between coagulation and fibrinolysis and is also composed of thrombin, thrombomodulin, and a zymogen that is activated to an enzyme. The enzyme proteolytically inactivates a cofactor to attenuate fibrinolysis. However, unlike APC, which is a serine protease, the antifibrinolytic enzyme is a metalloprotease that exhibits carboxypeptidase B-like activity. Within a few years of each other, 5 groups independently described a molecule that accounts for this antifibrinolytic activity. We refer to this molecule as thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI), a name that is based on functional properties by which it was identified, assayed, and purified. (Because of the preferences of some journals "activatable" is occasionally referred to as "activable.") This review will encompass a historical account of efforts to isolate TAFI and characterize it with respect to its activation, activity, regulation, and potential function in vivo.  (+info)

Tranexamic acid administration after cardiac surgery: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. (21/402)

BACKGROUND: Many different doses and administration schemes have been proposed for the use of the antifibrinolytic drug tranexamic acid during cardiac surgery. This study evaluated the effects of the treatment using tranexamic acid during the intraoperative period only and compared the results with the effects of the treatment continued into the postoperative period. METHODS: Patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery with use of cardiopulmonary bypass (N = 510) were treated intraoperatively with tranexamic acid and then were randomized in a double-blind fashion to one of three postoperative treatment groups: group A: 169 patients, infusion of saline for 12 h; group B: 171 patients, infusion of tranexamic acid, 1 mg x kg(-1) x h(-1) for 12 h; group C: 170 patients, infusion of tranexamic acid, 2 mg x kg(-1) x h(-1) for 12 h. Bleeding was considered to be a primary outcome variable. Hematologic data, allogeneic transfusions, thrombotic complications, intubation time, and intensive care unit and hospital stay duration also were evaluated. RESULTS: No differences were found among groups regarding postoperative bleeding and outcomes; however, the group treated with 1 mg x kg(-1) x h(-1) tranexamic acid required more units of packed red blood cells because of a significantly lower basal value of hematocrit, as shown by multivariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Prolongation of treatment with tranexamic acid after cardiac surgery is not advantageous with respect to intraoperative administration alone in reducing bleeding and number of allogeneic transfusions. Although the prevalence of postoperative complications was similar among groups, there is an increased risk of procoagulant response because of antifibrinolytic treatment. Therefore, the use of tranexamic acid during the postoperative period should be limited to patients with excessive bleeding as a result of primary fibrinolysis.  (+info)

Subarachnoid haemorrhage: diagnosis, causes and management. (22/402)

The incidence of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is stable, at around six cases per 100 000 patient years. Any apparent decrease is attributable to a higher rate of CT scanning, by which other haemorrhagic conditions are excluded. Most patients are <60 years of age. Risk factors are the same as for stroke in general; genetic factors operate in only a minority. Case fatality is approximately 50% overall (including pre-hospital deaths) and one-third of survivors remain dependent. Sudden, explosive headache is a cardinal but non-specific feature in the diagnosis of SAH: in general practice, the cause is innocuous in nine out of 10 patients in whom this is the only symptom. CT scanning is mandatory in all, to be followed by (delayed) lumbar puncture if CT is negative. The cause of SAH is a ruptured aneurysm in 85% of cases, non-aneurysmal perimesencephalic haemorrhage (with excellent prognosis) in 10%, and a variety of rare conditions in 5%. Catheter angiography for detecting aneurysms is gradually being replaced by CT angiography. A poor clinical condition on admission may be caused by a remediable complication of the initial bleed or a recurrent haemorrhage in the form of intracranial haematoma, acute hydrocephalus or global brain ischaemia. Occlusion of the aneurysm effectively prevents rebleeding, but there is a dearth of controlled trials assessing the relative benefits of early operation (within 3 days) versus late operation (day 10-12), or that of endovascular treatment versus any operation. Antifibrinolytic drugs reduce the risk of rebleeding, but do not improve overall outcome. Measures of proven value in decreasing the risk of delayed cerebral ischaemia are a liberal supply of fluids, avoidance of antihypertensive drugs and administration of nimodipine. Once ischaemia has occurred, treatment regimens such as a combination of induced hypertension and hypervolaemia, or transluminal angioplasty, are plausible, but of unproven benefit.  (+info)

Fibrinolysis system in patients with bronchial asthma. (23/402)

Every inflammatory process, including that in the course of bronchial asthma may disturb the balance in blood coagulation and fibrinolysis system. The aim of the present study was to evaluate fibrinolysis in patients with bronchial asthma. The study group consisted of 41 patients with bronchial asthma, hitherto untreated (25 women, 16 men, at mean age 37.37 +/- 12.4 years) and 22 healthy adults (control group). In these subjects, the following parameters were established: euglobulin lysis time (ELT), the concentration of tissue plasminogen activator antigen (t-PA Ag), the concentration of urokinase plasminogen activator antigen (u-PA Ag), the activity of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1), the concentration of plasmin-antiplasmin complex (PAP) and fibrinogen/fibrin degradation products (FDP). It was found that patients with bronchial asthma had statistically significantly higher mean values of FDP (9.25 +/- 6.7 micrograms/ml vs. 5.0 +/- 5.9 micrograms/ml; p < 0.001), ELT (123.5 +/- 42.7 min vs. 97.4 +/- 27.1 min; p < 0.001), t-PA Ag (8.36 +/- 3.66 ng/ml vs. 5.5 +/- 3.71 ng/ml; p < 0.01) and PAP complexes (250.3 +/- 95.8 ng/ml vs. 193.4 +/- 60.7 ng/ml; p < 0.02). Mean u-PA Ag concentration in patients with bronchial asthma was significantly lower than in control group (0.24 +/- 0.16 ng/ml vs. 0.53 +/- 0.18 ng/ml; p < 0.01). No statistically significant differences were observed as to PAI-1 activity between patients with bronchial asthma and healthy subjects. The results of the present study suggest that increased concentrations of t-PA Ag, PAP and FDP complexes are the evidence for greater activity of fibrinolysis system in subjects with bronchial asthma.  (+info)

Fibrin stimulates microfilament reorganization and IL-1beta production in human monocytic THP-1 cells. (24/402)

Fibrin plays important roles in the wound healing processes, including blood clotting and platelet aggregation. Additional activities of fibrin were found in this study, which utilizes human THP-1 cells treated 1,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 and plasminolytic fragments derived from fibrin. Coated fibrin fragment E on culture plates induced cell adhesions and morphological changes of the THP-1 cells, being resembled to tissue macrophages. Morphological changes of the THP-1 cells were caused by microfilament reorganization. IL-1beta production was increased in the THP-1 cells by adherent fibrin fragment E, but not by fibrin fragment D or by fibrinogen fragment E. The elevation of IL-1beta production is caused by transcriptional activation. Incubation with cytochalacin D, an actin polymerization inhibitor, prevents both microfilament reorganization and morphological changes, but has no effect on the IL-1beta production stimulated by fibrin fragment E. This data suggests that the IL-1beta production in the THP-1 cells do not require microfilament reorganization and integrin aggregation. Taken together, these results indicate that fibrin matrix plays an additional role in the stimulation of monocytes for production of IL-1beta, morphological changes and cell adhesion, resulting in the facilitation of the wound healing processes.  (+info)