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 μg/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.

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Thrombosis and Haemostasis: international journal for vascular biology and medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Pieters, M., Vorster, H., Jerling, J., Venter, C., Kotze, R., Bornman, E., … Rijken, D. (2010). The effect of ethanol and its metabolism on fibrinolysis. Thrombosis and Haemostasis: international journal for vascular biology and medicine, 104(4), 724–733. doi:10.1160/TH10-01-0048