The Journal of clinical investigation

Measurement of fibrinopeptide A in human blood.

PMID 4600045


Since thrombin cleaves fibrinopeptides A (FPA) and B from the NH(2)-terminal end of the fibrinogen molecule, measurement of fibrinopeptide levels in plasma may provide a direct index of thrombin action. Recently a radioimmunoassay for FPA has been developed, and in the present paper, we describe the application of this assay to the measurement of FPA levels in clinical blood samples. Since fibrinogen cross-reacts with antibodies to FPA, dialysis was used to extract the peptide from plasma. In vitro generation of FPA was prevented by removing the fibrinogen from the plasma by precipitation with ethanol before dialysis. The processing technique permitted recovery of 75% of FPA added to blood in vitro. Evidence that the immunoreactivity measured in plasma is due to FPA was provided by the results of experiments in which two antisera to FPA with different specificities showed comparable results and addition of thrombin caused no change in immunoreactivity. In contrast, extracts of streptokinasetreated plasma showed a five-fold increase in activity when treated with thrombin and markedly different immunoreactivity with the two antisera. Plasma FPA levels in 30 normal men were below 2 ng/ml, with a mean of 0.5 ng/ml. FPA levels in 12 patients with reduced fibrinogen levels or reduced platelet counts or both ranged between 4 and 289 ng/ml. FPA levels in 13 patients with normal or elevated fibrinogen levels, including 6 patients with clinical evidence of venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism or both, ranged between 5 and 23 ng/ml. FPA and fibrinogen degradation product levels did not correlate, and in several patients, elevated FPA levels were found in the presence of normal fibrinogen degradation product levels. After infusion of FPA-containing solutions in four normal individuals, FPA showed a disappearance rate from the plasma consistent with a t((1/2)) of 3-5 min. Heparin infusions in six patients with venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism or both and elevated FPA levels were followed by a prompt decline in FPA level at a mean rate equivalent to a 3-5 min t((1/2)).

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Fibrinopeptide A human, ≥96% (HPLC)