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We measured the plasma levels of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) activity and antigen in patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) to examine the relationship between hypofibrinolysis and the pathogenesis of DIC. TAFI activity and antigen levels in the plasma were both significantly low in patients with DIC. TAFI activity in plasma was correlated with TAFI antigen, indicating that activity and antigen correspond well. The decrease of TAFI activity in DIC may be due to enhanced consumption. Since the plasma thrombin-antithrombin III complex (TAT) level was found to be elevated in DIC, increase of thrombomodulin-thrombin complex generation is suggested in this state. TAFI activity and antigen levels were negatively correlated with TAT and D-dimer, suggesting that the plasma levels of TAFI are reduced by thrombin generation. Since TAFI was not correlated with fibrinogen, plasma-alpha(2)plasmin inhibitor complex (PPIC) and tissue type plasminogen activator/plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (tPA/PAI-1) complex, TAFI might be a secondary modulator of fibrinolysis. The TAFI activity in plasma was significantly low in patients with infection and in those with organ failure, suggesting that TAFI may play an important role in the mechanism of organ failure in DIC-associated sepsis. In brief, TAFI may play an important role in the pathogenesis of DIC and organ failure.
PMID: 11583733 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]