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Br J Haematol. 1995 Jul;90(3):541-7.

Influence of white blood cells on the fibrinolytic response to sepsis: studies of septic patients with or without severe leucopenia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Aberdeen Medical School, Foresterhill.


In septic patients capable of normal white cell responses, high plasma levels of PAI-I, t-PA antigen and t-PA-PAI-I complex were observed. The ratios of t-PA and PAI-I were such that free PA activity was almost never observed. In patients severely leucopenic prior to becoming septic the changes were significantly less marked, so presence of leucocytes enhances the fibrinolytic inhibition occurring in sepsis. The non-leucopenic septic group showed greater evidence of thrombin generation in that FPA levels were higher but fibrinogen levels were only slightly less and antithrombin levels not different from those in the leucopenic group. A greater tendency to fibrin deposition and the striking fibrinolytic inhibition noted in patients with normal white cell responses may contribute to the development of some of the complications of sepsis in which fibrin deposition participates and may explain their relative rarity in leucopenic patients. When shock supervened, levels of PAI-I were high in both leucopenic and non-leucopenic groups, indicating that a source of PAI-I outwith the leucocytes themselves contributes to the phenomena observed.

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