Background: Haemostasis is a complex balance of activating and inhibitory pathways resulting in coagulation and lysis. Normal pregnancy is associated with hypercoagulation that is even more profound in complicated pregnancies. Objective: To study the role of the plasminogen-activator system in complicated pregnancy with regard to haemostasis, it is essential to have reference values of components of this system during uneventful pregnancy. In this study we investigated the concentrations of six different components of the plasminogen-activator system preconceptionally, during and after uncomplicated pregnancies. Material and methods: Tissue-type and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (tPA and uPA), plasminogen inhibitor type-1 and -2 (PAI-1 and-2), and the complexes between tPA and PAI-1, and between uPA and PAI-1 (tPA-PAI-1, uPA-PAI-1) were measured by ELISAs in blood obtained preconceptionally, at 6, 10, 20, 32 weeks of gestation, and 6 weeks after delivery in uncomplicated pregnancies (n = 41; all six parameters n = 22). Results: tPA and uPA concentrations decreased in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and subsequently increased in the third trimester. PAI-1 concentrations increased in the third trimester and PAI-2 concentrations increased throughout pregnancy (preconception versus 32 weeks of gestation; 38.73 versus 102.23 ng/ml, and 0.024 versus 151.06 ng/ml, respectively). tPA-PAI-1 and uPA-PAI-1 complex concentrations decreased in the first trimester, followed by an increase in the third trimester. The concentrations of all components returned to the preconception values 6 weeks after delivery. Conclusion: This study provides longitudinal data on activating and inhibitory components of the plasminogen-activator system during pregnancy. Insight in the longitudinal changes in these concentrations may be of help in the understanding of the thrombotic tendency in pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia.

Plasminogen activator inhibitor system, Pregnancy,
European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Coolman, M, de Groot, C.J.M, Steegers, E.A.P, Geurts-Moespot, A, Thomas, C.M.G, Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M, & Sweep, F.C. (2006). Concentrations of plasminogen activators and their inhibitors in blood preconceptionally, during and after pregnancy. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 128(1-2), 22–28. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2006.02.004