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Blood. 2009 Aug 6;114(6):1276-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-03-209981. Epub 2009 May 12.

Valves of the deep venous system: an overlooked risk factor.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05482, USA.


Deep venous valves are frequent sites of deep venous thrombosis initiation. However, the possible contribution of the valvular sinus endothelium has received little attention in studies of thrombosis risk. We hypothesized that the endothelium of valve sinus differs from that of vein lumen with up-regulation of anticoagulant and down-regulation of procoagulant activities in response to the local environment. In pursuit of this hypothesis, we quantified endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR), thrombomodulin (TM), and von Willebrand factor (VWF) by immunofluorescence in great saphenous veins harvested at cardiac bypass surgery. We found significantly increased expression of EPCR and TM in the valvular sinus endothelium as opposed to the vein lumenal endothelium, and the opposite pattern with VWF (paired t test for TM and EPCR, each P < .001; for VWF, P = .01). These data support our hypothesis and suggest that variation in valvular sinus thromboresistance may be an important factor in venous thrombogenesis.

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