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Thromb Res. 1991 Jun 1;62(5):491-500.

Hepatic synthesis and clearance of components of the fibrinolytic system in healthy volunteers and in patients with different stages of liver cirrhosis.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physiology, University of Vienna, Austria.


We determined plasma levels of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) antigen, urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) antigen, and activity of the fast acting inhibitor of plasminogen activator (PAI-1) in patients with different stages of liver cirrhosis (Child A, B, and C) and in age and sex-matched healthy controls to investigate the contribution of the liver to the metabolism of these main components of the fibrinolytic system. For control purposes routine clotting parameters were also determined. In patients with the most severe form of liver cirrhosis (Child C) t-PA antigen levels were significantly elevated as compared to patients with Child A or Child B (p less than 0.05) or to controls (p less than 0.01). Furthermore, Child C patients exhibited significantly decreased PAI-1 plasma levels (p less than 0.05) as compared to controls. We were not able to demonstrate, however, any significant correlation between liver function and u-PA plasma levels. Furthermore, t-PA antigen and albumin plasma levels were negatively correlated (r = 0.48; p = 0.0015) and t-PA antigen and bilirubin were positively correlated (r = 0.46; p = 0.0022) thus indicating that the liver is mainly involved in the clearance of t-PA antigen. PAI-1 activity, however, seems to depend partially on synthesis by the liver as demonstrated by a positive correlation between PAI-1 and albumin (r = 0.33; p = 0.037). These physiologic liver functions are both progressively attenuated in severe liver damage and an increase of t-PA plasma levels and a decrease of PAI-1 might contribute to the higher fibrinolytic tendency observed in those patients.

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