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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2002 Jun;11(6):368-73.

Activation of coagulation system in preterm labor and preterm premature rupture of membranes.

Author information

  • 1Perinatology Research Branch, NICHD, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Thrombin, originally discovered as a coagulation factor, is a multifunctional protease capable of inducing myometrial contractions in vitro and in vivo. This enzyme has been implicated in the mechanisms of premature labor. Plasma concentrations of thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complexes are an index of in vivo thrombin generation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether patients with premature labor and preterm premature rupture of membranes (PROM) have evidence of increased thrombin generation in maternal blood, as determined by the TAT complex concentrations.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was designed to determine plasma concentrations of TAT complexes in 110 women in the following groups: non-pregnant women (n = 20); normal pregnant women (n = 30); women in preterm labor with intact membranes (n = 30); and women with preterm PROM (n = 30). TAT complex concentrations were determined with a sensitive and specific immunoassay. Statistical analysis was conducted with non-parametric statistics.

RESULTS:

Patients with preterm labor and intact membranes had a significantly higher median plasma TAT complex concentration than normal pregnant women (women in preterm labor, median 19.1 microg/l; range 7.4-406 vs. normal pregnant women, median 15 microg/l; range 6.8-32.5; p = 0.03). Patients with preterm PROM had a higher median TAT complex concentration than normal pregnant women (preterm PROM, median 19.1 microg/l; range 4.7-738.6 vs. normal pregnant women, median 15 microg/l; range 6.8-32.5; p = 0.03). Normal pregnancy was associated with a higher median plasma TAT complex concentration than the non-pregnant state (normal pregnant women, median 15 microg/l; range 6.8-32.5 vs. non-pregnant women, median 2.7 microg/l; range 0.9-14.2; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Preterm labor and preterm PROM are associated with an excess generation of thrombin.

PMID:
12389650
DOI:
10.1080/jmf.11.6.368.373
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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