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Thromb Res. 1996 Dec 1;84(5):323-32.

Determination of tumor cell procoagulant activity by Sonoclot analysis in whole blood.

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Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Unit, Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute, Florida Hospital, Altamonte Springs 32701, USA.


Coagulation activation in cancer may be due to expression of procoagulant activity (PCA) by tumor cells. Some PCA activate coagulation, while others influence platelet aggregation. Thus, clotting time assessments of PCA may not reflect the potential for hypercoagulability. We therefore studied the effect of various malignant and non-malignant cells on whole blood coagulation using the Sonoclot Analyzer. Five human (HT29 colon, J82 bladder, MCF-7 breast, BT-474 breast and A375 malignant melanoma) and three rodent (MC28, WEHI-164 and Neuro2a) cell lines were used. Rat thymocytes and peritoneal macrophages and human endotoxin-stimulated mononuclear cells and umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were used as non-malignant controls. All tumor cells markedly shortened the recalcification time of citrated blood and the most potent (HT29 and J82) also increased clot rate (P < 0.01). The breast cancer cells MCF-7 and BT-474 expressed only weak PCA and did not affect clotting rate. None of the non-malignant cells significantly affected clotting time or rate in whole blood. J82 and HT29 cells grown in serum-rich media shortened the recalcification time of both normal and FVII-deficient plasmas. However, cells grown in serum-free conditions had significantly less PCA in FVII-deficient plasma. We conclude that the Sonoclot Analyzer is useful for determining cellular PCA; significant PCA is a feature of malignant cells and cells grown in medium containing serum supplements cannot be reliably evaluated for PCA.

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