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Ann Intern Med. 1986 Dec;105(6):873-7.

Epsilon-aminocaproic acid in the treatment of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia and acquired alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor deficiency.


Patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia often develop bleeding diatheses during treatment. In seven patients who had this disease, the plasma level of alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor was the best predictor of severity of coagulopathy and bleeding. Clinical bleeding occurred when alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor levels measured less than 30% of normal levels. Patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia who had acquired deficiencies of alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor were considered to have deficits similar to those in persons congenitally deficient in alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor, and were assumed to be at increased risk for bleeding. Treatment with the fibrinolytic inhibitor, epsilon-aminocaproic acid, along with heparin resulted in prompt cessation of bleeding, reversal of laboratory evidence of fibrinolysis, and a decreased need for blood product support. The only thrombotic complication--thrombosis around a central venous catheter--resolved when treatment with epsilon-aminocaproic acid was discontinued. Epsilon-aminocaproic acid is a safe and effective therapy for those patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia who develop coagulopathy associated with low levels of alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor.

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