The effect of aprotinin on activated protein C-mediated downregulation of endogenous thrombin generation.
Thrombin plays a central role in coagulation and haemostasis. Binding of thrombin to thrombomodulin generates activated protein C (APC), which exerts a negative feedback on thrombin formation. Aprotinin, a natural proteinase inhibitor is used extensively during cardiac surgery because this procedure is often associated with profound activation of coagulation and inflammatory pathways. Some in vitro evidences suggest that aprotinin inhibits APC, but the clinical relevance is unclear. The recombinant human soluble thrombomodulin (rhsTM)-modified thrombin generation (TG) assay was used to investigate the effects of aprotinin on APC in plasma samples obtained from healthy volunteers, aprotinin-treated cardiac surgical patients and in protein C (PC)-depleted plasma. Based on the results of in vitro TG assay, addition of rhsTM (0.75-3.0 microg/ml) to volunteer or patient platelet-poor plasma significantly reduced (70.8 +/- 21.9 and 95.3% +/- 4.6%, respectively) thrombin formation when compared with PC-depleted plasma (8.3% +/- 5.2%). Aprotinin (100-200 KIU) caused a small, statistically insignificant decrease in the peak thrombin formation in normal and PC-deficient plasma (12.0 +/- 6.1%). In cardiac surgical patients, levels of functional PC, factor II, antithrombin and platelet significantly decreased after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Soluble thrombomodulin concentrations were increased after CPB (3.5 +/- 2.2 to 5.0 +/- 2.2 ng/ml), but they were still within the normal range for human plasma. Our results showed that, even though endogenous PC level is decreased after CPB, it retains its activity in the presence of thrombomodulin, and aprotinin has limited inhibitory effect on APC generation.
Tanaka, KA; Szlam, F; Levy, JH
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)