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Heart. 2015 Jul;101(14):1126-32. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2014-306685. Epub 2015 May 21.

The hypercoagulable profile of patients with stent thrombosis.

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Laboratory for Clinical Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Departments of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Department of Cardiology, St. Antonius Center for Platelet Function Research, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.
Department of Clinical Chemistry, St. Antonius Center for Platelet Function Research, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.



Coronary stent thrombosis is a devastating complication after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The mechanisms underlying stent thrombosis are multifactorial. Whether the coagulation system is involved in the pathophysiology of stent thrombosis is unclear. We hypothesised that thrombin generation, reflecting the coagulation potential, is enhanced in patients with stent thrombosis.


A case-control study was performed, including 63 patients with PCI: 23 cases (stent thrombosis) and 40 controls (no stent thrombosis). Thrombin generation was measured using 0, 1 and 5 pM tissue factor (TF) triggers. Active site-inhibited factor VIIa (ASIS) and recombinant thrombomodulin were added to study the contact activation system and the protein C pathway, respectively.


Thrombin generation was significantly increased for all TF triggers in cases compared with controls. Addition of ASIS to the measurement without exogenous TF revealed significantly enhanced contact activation in cases compared with controls; mean peak height: 241 vs 183 nM. Thrombin generation was also significantly increased in cases compared with controls in the presence of exogenous TF; mean peak height: 263 vs 233 nM (5 pM TF). Addition of thrombomodulin reduced thrombin generation by 23% in cases and 31% in controls (p<0.018), suggesting alterations in the protein C pathway in cases.


This is the first study that suggests the involvement of the coagulation system in stent thrombosis. Stent thrombosis patients showed a hypercoagulable state, most likely caused by enhanced contact activation and attenuation of anticoagulation by the protein C pathway.

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