PloS one

Association of hemostatic markers with atrial fibrillation: a meta-analysis and meta-regression.

PMID 25884835


There is growing evidence that indicates the presence of a prothrombotic state in atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the role of hemostatic markers in AF remains inconclusive. We conducted a meta-analysis of observational studies to evaluate the association between hemostatic markers and AF. A meta-regression was performed to explore potential sources of heterogeneity. A total of 59 studies met our inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. For platelet activation, increased circulating platelet factor-4, β-thromboglobulin (BTG) and P-selectin were significantly higher in AF cases compared with controls (standardized mean difference [SMD][95% confidence interval (CI)]: 1.72[0.96-2.49], 1.61[1.03-2.19] and 0.50[0.23-0.77], respectively). For coagulation activation, increased levels of plasma D-dimer, fibrinogen, thrombin-antithrombin, prothrombin fragment 1+2, and antithrombin-III were significantly associated with AF (SMD[95% CI]: 1.82[1.38-2.26], 0.72[0.55-0.89], 0.42[0.13-0.72], 1.00 [0.00-1.99] and 1.38[0.16-2.60], respectively). For fibrinolytic function, tissue-type plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 were significantly increased in AF cases compared with controls (SMD[95% CI]: 0.86[0.04-1.67] and 0.87[0.28-1.47], respectively) but the associations became nonsignificant after performing subgroup analysis by anticoagulants treatment status. For endothelial function, increased von Willebrand factor was significantly associated with AF (SMD, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.60-0.99); however, no association was observed for soluble thrombomodulin (SMD, 0.60; 95% CI, -0.13-1.33). Increased circulating hemostatic factors (PF-4, BTG, P-selectin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, TAT, F1+2, AT- III, and vWf) are significantly associated with AF. Future research is necessary to elucidate the precise mechanism of the prothrombotic state and how hemostatic markers promote thromboembolism in AF.