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Thorax. Feb 2004; 59(2): 130–135.
PMCID: PMC1746934

Local activation of coagulation and inhibition of fibrinolysis in the lung during ventilator associated pneumonia


Methods: Non-directed bronchial lavage (NBL) was performed on alternate days in patients expected to require mechanical ventilation for more than 5 days. A total of 28 patients were studied, nine of whom developed VAP.

Results: In patients who developed VAP a significant increase in thrombin generation was observed in the airways, as reflected by a rise in the levels of thrombin-antithrombin complexes in NBL fluid accompanied by increases in soluble tissue factor and factor VIIa concentrations. The diagnosis of VAP was preceded by a decrease in fibrinolytic activity in NBL fluid. Indeed, before VAP was diagnosed clinically, plasminogen activator activity levels in NBL fluid gradually declined, which appeared to be caused by a sharp increase in NBL fluid levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1.

Conclusion: VAP is characterised by a shift in the local haemostatic balance to the procoagulant side, which precedes the clinical diagnosis of VAP.

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Selected References

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