Journal of thrombosis and thrombolysis

Hyperhomocysteinemia in patients with pulmonary embolism is associated with impaired plasma fibrinolytic capacity.

PMID 23963720


Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) affects haemostasis and shifts its balance in favour of thrombosis. In vitro and in vivo studies suggested that HHcy may impair fibrinolysis either by influencing the plasma levels of fibrinolytic factors or by altering the fibrinogen structure. We investigated the influence of mild HHcy levels on plasma fibrinolytic potential by using clot lysis time (CLT) and fibrin susceptibility to plasmin-induced lysis in 94 patients with previous pulmonary embolism and no pulmonary hypertension. CLT was measured as lysis time of tissue factor induced clots exposed to exogenous tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). The rate of in vitro plasmin-mediated cleavage of fibrin β-chain was assessed over a 6-h period on fibrin clots, which were obtained by exposition to thrombin of purified fibrinogen. Homocysteine plasma levels were measured by Abbott Imx immunoassay and we considered as altered the values above 15 μmol/L according to the literature. In 68 patients homocysteine levels were below 15 μmol/L (NHcy) and in 26 they were above (HHcy). Significant differences were observed between the two groups regarding plasma fibrinolytic potential (p = 0.016), TAFIact (expressed as clot lysis ratio) (p = 0.02), t-PA (0.008) and PLG (0.037), but not for the other assessed components. The HHcy-patients had a threefold higher risk to have an impaired fibrinolysis. Instead, a multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for significances of univariate showed that HHcy (OR 5.2 95% CI 1.7-15.9; p = 0.003) and BMI (OR 5.0 95% CI 1.6-15.9; p = 0.006) resulted independently associated with impaired fibrinolytic activity. HHcy affects TAFI-mediated hypofibrinolysis but not fibrin(ogen) structure or function as documented by fibrin degradation analysis.