Background and objectives: In pediatric meningococcal sepsis, an imbalance between coagulation and fibrinolysis and proinflammatory action play major roles. We hypothesized that thrombin activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor (TAFI) and/or TAFI activation markers are involved in the pathogenesis of meningococcal sepsis. Patients and methods: Children with severe meningococcal sepsis (n = 112) previously included in Rotterdam-based trials participated in this study. Clinical and laboratory parameters and severity scores were assessed. TAFI and TAFI activation markers were determined: TAFI activation peptide (TAFI-AP) and (in)activated TAFI [TAFIa(i)]. The -438G/A, Ala147Thr, and Thr325Ile polymorphisms were genotyped. Results: TAFI levels were significantly decreased in patients with meningococcal disease at admission compared to the convalescence state. TAFI was decreased in patients with septic shock vs. those with no shock. TAFI-AP levels were increased in patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) vs. patients without DIC. TAFI-AP and TAFIa(i) were significantly increased in non-survivors vs. survivors. TAFI-AP levels and the TAFI-AP/TAFI ratio were also strongly correlated to severity scores and laboratory parameters. The TAFI 325Ile/Ile genotype was overrepresented in patients with DIC. Conclusions: Activation markers of TAFI were associated with the occurrence of DIC and mortality in meningococcal sepsis patients. A determination of TAFI, TAFI-AP, and TAFIa(i) is required to enable coherent interpretation of the role of TAFI in disease.

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Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Department of Hematology

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