Background and objectives: It has been known for a long time that cirrhosis is associated with hyperfibrinolysis, which might contribute to an increased risk and severity of bleeding. However, recent papers have questioned the presence of a hyperfibrinolytic state in cirrhotic patients and postulated a rebalanced system owing to concomitant changes in both pro- and anti-fibrinolytic factors. Therefore we re-investigated the fibrinolytic state of cirrhotic patients using two different overall tests including a recently developed test for global fibrinolytic capacity (GFC) using whole blood. Patients and methods: Blood was collected from 30 healthy controls and 75 patients with cirrhosis of varying severity (34 Child-Pugh A, 28 Child-Pugh B and 13 Child-Pugh C). The plasma clot lysis time (CLT), which is inversely correlated with fibrinolysis, was determined as well as the GFC. Results: The mean CLT was 74.5min in the controls and decreased significantly to 66.9min in Child-Pugh class A patients, 59.3min in class B patients and 61.0min in class C patients, and hyperfibrinolysis existed in 40% of the patients. The median GFC was 1.7μgmL-1 in the controls and increased significantly to 4.0μgmL-1 in Child-Pugh class A patients, 11.1μgmL-1 in class B patients and 22.5μgmL-1 in class C patients, and hyperfibrinolysis existed in 43% of the patients. Taken together, 60% of the patients showed hyperfibrinolysis in at least one of the two global assays. Conclusion: A rebalanced fibrinolytic system may occur, but hyperfibrinolysis is found in the majority of patients with cirrhosis.

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Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Rijken, D.C, Kock, E.L, Guimarães, A.H.C, Talens, S, Darwish Murad, S, Janssen, H.L.A, & Leebeek, F.W.G. (2012). Evidence for an enhanced fibrinolytic capacity in cirrhosis as measured with two different global fibrinolysis tests. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 10(10), 2116–2122. doi:10.1111/j.1538-7836.2012.04901.x