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Thromb Haemost. 1997 Jan;77(1):44-7.

Ongoing prothrombotic state in the portal circulation of cirrhotic patients.

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Istituto I Clinica Medica, Università La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Portal thrombosis may complicate the clinical course of cirrhosis, but the pathophysiologic mechanism is unclear. Aim of the study was to evaluate the behavior of clotting system and endotoxemia in portal vein and in peripheral circulation of 11 cirrhotic patients undergoing transjugular port-systemic shunt (TIPS). Portal blood showed higher values of F1 + 2 [Median (range): 2.5 (1.1-5.3) vs. 1.1 (0.6-2.1) nM, p < 0.01], D-dimer [765 (184-1713) vs. 192 (64-813) ng/ml, p < 0.01] and endotoxemia [31 (16-47.2) vs. 13.7 (7.5-23.5) pg/ml, p < 0.01] than peripheral circulation. In the portal vein, all but one sample had F1 + 2 > 1.2 nM (upper limit of control values), all but one had D-dimer > 216 mg/dl (mean + 2 SD of controls) and 100% had values of endotoxemia > 9.6 pg/ml (upper limit of control values). Fibrinogen was lower in the portal circulation compared to peripheral circulation but the difference was not significant [85 (58-195) vs. 134 (75-244) mg/dl, p > 0.05]. Endotoxemia was directly correlated with F1 + 2 (Rho = 0.92 p < 0.006) and D-dimer (Rho = 0.93, p < 0.005). This study shows that an ongoing prothrombotic state is present in the portal circulation of cirrhotic patients and may play a pivotal role in the thrombotic episodes occurring in this clinical setting.

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