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Blood. 1989 Jul;74(1):165-72.

Tumor necrosis factor infusions have a procoagulant effect on the hemostatic mechanism of humans.

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  • 1Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.


Several investigators have reported that tumor necrosis factor (TNF) can alter the hemostatic properties of vascular endothelial cells in vitro. We have examined the in vivo effects on the hemostatic mechanism of recombinant human TNF administered as a continuous intravenous infusion to 23 cancer patients with active disease. A battery of sensitive and specific immunochemical techniques were used to monitor changes in blood coagulability. Serial determinations of F1 + 2, the protein C activation peptide (PCP), and fibrinopeptide A (FPA) were obtained prior to the initiation of the TNF infusions and at three and 24 hours after the start of therapy in 12 individuals who received greater than 3 x 10(5) U/m2/24h. The mean levels of F1 + 2, PCP, and FPA were significantly elevated at both time points as compared to the baseline values. The metabolic behavior of 125I-F1 + 2 in an animal model was not affected by infusions of the cytokine. We therefore conclude that the observed elevations in the concentration of this marker in humans receiving TNF result from hemostatic system hyperactivity. In 11 subjects infused with 1 x 10(5) to 2.4 x 10(5) U/m2/24 h of the cytokine, the mean levels of F1 + 2, PCP, and FPA were not significantly greater at 24 hours as compared with the baseline values, indicating that there is a threshold dose at which the cytokine can exert a biochemical effect on the coagulation system. Our studies demonstrate that TNF is able to provide a substantial net procoagulant stimulus to the hemostatic mechanism, and suggest that this cytokine may be a mediator of certain hypercoagulable states in humans.

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