The effect of ethanol and its metabolism on fibrinolysis
The role of ethanol metabolism in possible haemostatic cardioprotective effects has not yet been determined. To this end, we investigated the effect of a moderate dose of ethanol (35 g) and its metabolism, on haemostatic variables over 14 hours (h). Eighteen Caucasian males participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, cross-over study. Blood was collected prior to alcohol consumption, and at 10 time points for 14 h. Blood ethanol peaked at 1 h and was cleared after 8 h following ethanol consumption, significantly increasing plasma acetate (p=0.0028). Ethanol did not influence the coagulation factors significantly. PAI-1actincreased (p<0.0001) and tPAact(p=0.047) decreased following alcohol consumption, reaching maximum (0.69 to 22.2 IU/ml) and minimum (0.88 to 0.33 IU/ml) levels at 5 h, respectively. Significantly increased plasma clot lysis times (46.8 to 67.6 minutes) and reduced global fibri-nolytic capacity of whole blood, measured as D-dimer production during incubation of blood clots (2.26 to 0.29 Î¼g/ml), were found at 5 h. Except for PAI-1act(borderline significance; p=0.05), there was no significant difference in the fibrinolytic markers between the two groups the following morning. Moderate ethanol consumption resulted in a significant temporary fibrinolysis inhibition. Any protective effects of moderate ethanol consumption on cardiovascular disease do not appear to be due to improvement in fibrinolytic potential within the first 14 h following consumption. The use of global fibrinolytic assays is recommended for determining the true effect of ethanol on fibrinolysis.