2002 Volume 41 Issue 3 Pages 181-185
Objective There is clinical and pathological evidence of thrombosis in pulmonary vessels of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of hypercoagulability and determine the extent of this abnormality in COPD patients.
Patients and Methods We measured plasma levels of thrombin antithrombin III complex (TAT), fibrinopeptide A (FPA), tissue plasminogen activator-plasminogen activator inhibitor (tPA-PAI): markers of coagulation-fibrinolysis-system, and also β-thromboglobulin (β-TG): a marker of platelet activation, in 40 COPD patients and in 20 control subjects. Measurements were also repeated 12 months after entry in all patients.
Results TAT, FPA, tPA-PAI, and β-TG concentrations were significantly higher in COPD than in control subjects. At 12 months follow-up, ΔA-aDO2 and Δ%FEV1 were significantly higher in patients with high TAT or tPA-PAI levels than in patients with low levels and TAT, FPA and tPA-PAI levels remained elevated, although β-TG levels decreased after domiciliary O2 therapy.
Conclusion Our results showed an enhanced prothrombotic process in COPD patients, which could potentially account for the increased thrombosis in pulmonary vessels in these patients.
(Internal Medicine 41:181-185, 2002)