The respective roles of intravascular coagulation (DIC) and fibrinolysis were assessed in severe chronic liver disease by measuring thrombin-antithrombin (TAT) complexes, tissue-type plasminogen activator antigen (tPA Ag) and fibrinogen and fibrin degradation products (FgDP and FbDP respectively) in 66 patients with liver disease caused by cirrhosis (n = 34) or chronic hepatitis (n = 32) as compared to findings in a control group (n = 30).
There was a significant increase of TAT complexes (P less than 0.01), tPA Ag (P less than 0.002), FDP and FbDP (P less than 0.001) in patients as compared to controls. FbDP increase was more evident in patients with cirrhosis than in those with hepatitis (P less than 0.01). Significant correlations between these parameters with some liver function tests were also demonstrated.
Thus, in patients with severe liver disease, an increased thrombin activity, as demonstrated by high TAT levels; followed by hyperfibrinolysis suggest that a low grade DIC may occur.
CITATION Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 1991 Apr;2(2):227-30