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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 May;28(5):947-53. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.107.161471. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Tissue factor in patients with acute coronary syndromes: expression in platelets, leukocytes, and platelet-leukocyte aggregates.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan, Via Balzaretti, 9, 20133 Milan, Italy.



Activated platelets and circulating platelet-leukocyte aggregates (PLA) are significantly higher in patients with unstable angina than in those with stable angina (SA). Platelets from healthy subjects express TF on activation. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of TF in PLA, in platelets, and in monocytes of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients compared to SA patients and healthy subjects (Controls).


We enrolled 26 consecutive patients with ACS, 29 patients with SA, and 25 Controls. A significantly greater number of total and TF positive platelet-monocyte aggregates was found by flow cytometry in blood of ACS patients than in either SA patients (3-fold) or Controls (5-fold). ACS patients also had a significantly higher amount of TF-positive platelets than SA or Controls (>3-fold) and significantly higher thrombin generation capacity. TF mRNA expression in platelets was significantly higher in ACS patients than in SA or Controls.


In ACS patients the greater expression of TF in platelets and PLA strengthens the link between platelet activation, blood coagulation, and thrombus formation and may further contribute to the hypercoagulability associated with the disease.

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