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Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2001 Jan;12(1):1-8.

Elevated levels of free tissue factor pathway inhibitor antigen in cases of disseminated intravascular coagulation caused by various underlying diseases.

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Department of Internal Medicine III, Kanazawa University School of Medicine, Japan.


Tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) is primarily synthesized by vascular endothelial cells and is found in vivo in association with endothelial cells, lipoproteins, or in free form. Free TFPI is the most potent and important type, because it is released from endothelial cells following an injection of heparin, or as a result of pathological stimuli. In order to study the role of TFPI in disease, the concentration of free form TFPI was measured in the plasma of 114 patients suffering from disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), as the result of several underlying diseases. Plasma antigen levels of free TFPI were significantly higher even in those patients not exhibiting DIC than in normal healthy subjects. These levels were even higher among patients exhibiting DIC, especially those with acute promyelocytic leukemia or cancer, receiving continuous heparin drip infusions. A significant correlation was observed between the plasma antigen levels of free form TFPI and those of fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products, and free form TFPI and plasmin inhibitor complex (r = 0.428, P < 0.0001 and r = 0.329, P < 0.0001, respectively) among 114 DIC patients. There were no significant differences between the plasma levels of free TFPI in DIC patients with or without multiple organ failure. It has been suggested that the plasma levels of free TFPI are closely related to the levels of fibrinolysis occurring in DIC patients, although further study is required to clarify the degree to which TFPI is expressed by endothelial cells during DIC.

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