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Am J Med. 1992 Dec;93(6):651-7.

Coagulation, fibrinolytic, and inhibitory proteins in acute myocardial infarction and angina pectoris.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine.



The role of thrombus formation in the pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and unstable angina pectoris has been well established. However, comprehensive and systematic studies of the blood coagulation, fibrinolytic, and inhibitory proteins are not available in patients with these conditions. Fourteen patients with AMI, 10 patients with angina pectoris, and 32 normal volunteers were studied. Plasma antigen concentrations and/or activities of high-molecular-weight kininogen (HMWK), fibrinogen, fibronectin, plasminogen, D-dimer, tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), alpha 2-antiplasmin, alpha 2-macroglobulin, alpha 1-antitrypsin, protein C, total and free protein S, antithrombin III (AT-III), von Willebrand factor (vWF), factors (F) XII, XI, IX, VIII, VII, X, V, II, and XIII, and plasma antiplasmin activity were measured using appropriate functional or immunologic assays.


The AMI group showed a significant reduction in F XII activity, F XII activity-to-concentration ratio, and HMWK concentration. In addition, the AMI patients exhibited a significant elevation of plasma F XI activity, F IX concentration, and F IX activity, and vWF, fibrinogen, D-dimer, and t-PA concentrations. This was associated with significant reductions in F V, F II, and AT-III activity-to-concentration ratio. Many of the changes observed in AMI patients were also present in patients with angina pectoris. Furthermore, the latter group exhibited an elevation of F VIII activity, alpha 2-macroglobulin activity, and alpha 1-antitrypsin concentration and a significant reduction of antiplasmin activity despite a normal alpha 2-antiplasmin concentration.


The observed reduction of the plasma F XII activity-to-antigen concentration ratio combined with a reduced HMWK concentration suggests intrinsic pathway activation, while the elevation of the D-dimer concentration indicates thrombin generation and fibrin formation and degradation in the AMI group. The latter changes were also present in patients with angina pectoris. Both AMI and angina groups showed several other abnormalities of the coagulation, fibrinolytic, and inhibitory systems. The results suggest the presence of a prothrombotic state associated with the activation of coagulation and fibrinolytic systems in patients with acute myocardial ischemia or infarction.

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