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Concept: Hemostasis

171

Fibrin polymerization is a necessary part of hemostasis but clots can obstruct blood vessels and cause heart attacks and strokes. The polymerization reactions are specific and controlled, involving strong knob-into-hole interactions to convert soluble fibrinogen into insoluble fibrin. It has long been assumed that clots and thrombi are stable structures until proteolytic digestion. On the contrary, using the technique of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we demonstrate here that there is turnover of fibrin in an uncrosslinked clot. A peptide representing the knobs involved in fibrin polymerization can compete for the holes and dissolve a preformed fibrin clot, or increase the fraction of soluble oligomers, with striking rearrangements in clot structure. These results imply that in vivo clots or thrombi are more dynamic structures than previously believed that may be remodeled as a result of local environmental conditions, may account for some embolization, and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention.

Concepts: Stroke, Polymer chemistry, Monomer, Hemostasis, Coagulation, Thrombus, Protein, Fibrin

169

Although duodenal diverticula are common, periampullary duodenal diverticula are rare. Periampullary duodenal diverticula are usually asymptomatic and may be difficult to diagnose and treat. However, they may present with massive bleeding, requiring prompt diagnosis.

Concepts: Hemostasis, Bleeding, Greek loanwords, Diverticulum, Diagnosis, Meckel's diverticulum, Medical terms

168

Hemophilia A is a common X chromosome-linked genetic bleeding disorder caused by abnormalities in the coagulation factor VIII gene (F8). Hemophilia A patients suffer from a bleeding diathesis, such as life-threatening bleeding in the brain and harmful bleeding in joints and muscles. Because it could potentially be cured by gene therapy, subhuman animal models have been sought. Current mouse hemophilia A models generated by gene targeting of the F8 have difficulties to extrapolate human disease due to differences in the coagulation and immune systems between mice and humans. Here, we generated a porcine model of hemophilia A by nuclear transfer cloning from F8-targeted fibroblasts. The hemophilia A pigs showed a severe bleeding tendency upon birth, similar to human severe hemophiliacs, but in contrast to hemophilia A mice which rarely bleed under standard breed conditions. Infusion of human factor VIII was effective in stopping bleeding and reducing the bleeding frequency of a hemophilia A piglet but was blocked by the inhibitor against human factor VIII. These data suggest that the hemophilia A pig is a severe hemophilia A animal model for studying not only hemophilia A gene therapy but also the next generation recombinant coagulation factors, such as recombinant factor VIII variants with a slower clearance rate.

Concepts: Hemostasis, Haemophilia B, Thrombin, Haemophilia A, Factor VIII, Factor X, Protein C, Blood

163

Background Idarucizumab, a monoclonal antibody fragment, was developed to reverse the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran. Methods We performed a multicenter, prospective, open-label study to determine whether 5 g of intravenous idarucizumab would be able to reverse the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran in patients who had uncontrolled bleeding (group A) or were about to undergo an urgent procedure (group B). The primary end point was the maximum percentage reversal of the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran within 4 hours after the administration of idarucizumab, on the basis of the diluted thrombin time or ecarin clotting time. Secondary end points included the restoration of hemostasis and safety measures. Results A total of 503 patients were enrolled: 301 in group A, and 202 in group B. The median maximum percentage reversal of dabigatran was 100% (95% confidence interval, 100 to 100), on the basis of either the diluted thrombin time or the ecarin clotting time. In group A, 137 patients (45.5%) presented with gastrointestinal bleeding and 98 (32.6%) presented with intracranial hemorrhage; among the patients who could be assessed, the median time to the cessation of bleeding was 2.5 hours. In group B, the median time to the initiation of the intended procedure was 1.6 hours; periprocedural hemostasis was assessed as normal in 93.4% of the patients, mildly abnormal in 5.1%, and moderately abnormal in 1.5%. At 90 days, thrombotic events had occurred in 6.3% of the patients in group A and in 7.4% in group B, and the mortality rate was 18.8% and 18.9%, respectively. There were no serious adverse safety signals. Conclusions In emergency situations, idarucizumab rapidly, durably, and safely reversed the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; RE-VERSE AD ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02104947 .).

Concepts: Blood, Boehringer Ingelheim, Anticoagulant, Bleeding, Safety, Warfarin, Hemostasis, Normal distribution

152

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an extremely common disorder which carries a risk of vascular impairment. DM type 2 (DM2) can be characterized by the dysfunction of haemostasis manifesting by stimulated coagulation process, disorder of platelet function and decreased fibrinolytic activity. These all are the reasons why DM2 is the most common acquired thrombophilia. Endothelial dysfunction along with platelet hyperactivity are unquestionably involved in the hyperactivation of platelets and clotting factors in DM. As a natural consequence of continuous investigation, many markers of endothelial dysfunction and diabetic thrombocytopathy have been identified and considered for implementation in clinical practice. Endothelial function can be assessed by the evaluation of endothelial markers, circulating molecules synthesised in various amounts by the endothelium. These markers precede the signs of evident microangiopathy. Platelets have an ethiopathogenic relation to the microangiopathy in DM. Their increased activity was confirmed in both types of DM. Predictors of endothelial and platelet disorder could improve the screening of individuals at increased risk, thus leading to the early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, as well as to the effective prevention of the complications of DM2. In the article we deal with the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of endothelial and platelet functional abnormalities, endothelial and platelet markers of DM2 considered for implementation in clinical practice and possibilities of their detection.

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus, Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, Fibrin, Blood, Hemostasis, Endothelium, Platelet, Coagulation

146

Topical hemostatic agents are used intra-operatively to prevent uncontrolled bleeding. Gelfoam(®) Powder contains a hemostatic agent prepared from purified pork skin gelatin, the efficacy of which is increased when combined with thrombin. However, the effect of increasing concentrations of thrombin on resultant hemostasis is not known. This study sought to evaluate the ability of various concentrations of thrombin in combination with Gelfoam Powder to control bleeding using a swine liver lesion model. Ten pigs underwent a midline laparotomy. Circular lesions were created in the left medial, right medial, and left lateral lobes; six lesions per lobe. Gelfoam Powder was hydrated with Thrombin-JMI(®) diluted to 250, 375, and 770 IU/mL. Each concentration was applied to two lesion sites per lobe. Bleeding scores were measured at 3, 6, 9, and 12 min using a 6-point system; comparison of bleeding scores was performed using ANOVA with the post hoc Tukey test. The bleeding scores with thrombin concentrations at 770 IU/mL were significantly lower than at 250 and 375 IU/mL at all four time points. The percentage of biopsies with a clinically acceptable bleeding score rose from 37.9, 46.6, and 71.2 % at 3 min to 55.2, 69.0, and 88.1 % at 12 min in the 250, 375, and 770 IU/mL thrombin groups, respectively. The study showed that the hemostatic response to thrombin was dose-related: using higher concentrations of thrombin with Gelfoam Powder yielded improved hemostasis, as determined by lower bleeding scores.

Concepts: Pork, Chitosan, Antihemorrhagics, Hemostasis, Antihemorrhagic

146

Freezing is promising for extended platelet (PLT) storage for transfusion. 6% DMSO cryopreserved PLTs (CPPs) are currently in clinical development. CPPs contain significant amount of platelet membrane vesicles (PMVs). PLT-membrane changes and PMV release in CPP are poorly understood, and haemostatic effects of CPP PMVs are not fully elucidated. This study aims to investigate PLT-membrane alterations in CPPs and provide comprehensive characterization of CPP PMVs, and their contribution to procoagulant activity (PCA) of CPPs.

Concepts: Platelet, Cryobiology, Extracellular matrix, Cryoprotectant, Hemostasis

141

The liver plays a crucial role in coagulation cascade. Global hemostatic process is profoundly influenced by the presence of liver disease and its complications. Patients with cirrhosis have impaired synthesis of most of the factors involved in coagulation and fibrinolysis process due to a reduced liver function and altered platelet count secondary to portal hypertension. Altered routine tests and thrombocytopenia were considered in the past as associated with increased risk of bleeding. These concepts explain both the routine use of plasma and/or platelets transfusion in patients with liver cirrhosis, especially before invasive procedures, and why these patients were considered “auto-anticoagulated”. New recent evidences show that patients with liver cirrhosis have a more complex hemostatic alteration. Despite the presence of altered levels of factors involved in primary hemostasis, coagulation and fibrinolysis, patients with stable cirrhosis have a rebalanced hemostatic, which however can easily be altered by decompensation or infection, both in hemorrhagic or thrombotic direction. Patients with cirrhosis have an increased risk of venous thrombotic events (namely portal vein thrombosis) while bleeding seems to be related to the grade of portal hypertension rather than to a hemostatic imbalance. The use of anticoagulants both as treatment or prophylaxis is safe, reduces the rate of portal vein thrombosis and decompensation, and improves survival. Standard laboratory coagulation tests are unable to predict bleeding and are inadequate for the assessment of hemostatic status in these patients, hence more comprehensive tests are required to guide the management of thrombotic and bleeding complications.

Concepts: Hepatology, Hepatic portal vein, Thrombosis, Liver, Coagulation, Platelet, Blood, Hemostasis

123

Background Andexanet alfa (andexanet) is a recombinant modified human factor Xa decoy protein that has been shown to reverse the inhibition of factor Xa in healthy volunteers. Methods In this multicenter, prospective, open-label, single-group study, we evaluated 67 patients who had acute major bleeding within 18 hours after the administration of a factor Xa inhibitor. The patients all received a bolus of andexanet followed by a 2-hour infusion of the drug. Patients were evaluated for changes in measures of anti-factor Xa activity and were assessed for clinical hemostatic efficacy during a 12-hour period. All the patients were subsequently followed for 30 days. The efficacy population of 47 patients had a baseline value for anti-factor Xa activity of at least 75 ng per milliliter (or ≥0.5 IU per milliliter for those receiving enoxaparin) and had confirmed bleeding severity at adjudication. Results The mean age of the patients was 77 years; most of the patients had substantial cardiovascular disease. Bleeding was predominantly gastrointestinal or intracranial. The mean (±SD) time from emergency department presentation to the administration of the andexanet bolus was 4.8±1.8 hours. After the bolus administration, the median anti-factor Xa activity decreased by 89% (95% confidence interval [CI], 58 to 94) from baseline among patients receiving rivaroxaban and by 93% (95% CI, 87 to 94) among patients receiving apixaban. These levels remained similar during the 2-hour infusion. Four hours after the end of the infusion, there was a relative decrease from baseline of 39% in the measure of anti-factor Xa activity among patients receiving rivaroxaban and of 30% among those receiving apixaban. Twelve hours after the andexanet infusion, clinical hemostasis was adjudicated as excellent or good in 37 of 47 patients in the efficacy analysis (79%; 95% CI, 64 to 89). Thrombotic events occurred in 12 of 67 patients (18%) during the 30-day follow-up. Conclusions On the basis of a descriptive preliminary analysis, an initial bolus and subsequent 2-hour infusion of andexanet substantially reduced anti-factor Xa activity in patients with acute major bleeding associated with factor Xa inhibitors, with effective hemostasis occurring in 79%. (Funded by Portola Pharmaceuticals; ANNEXA-4 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02329327 .).

Concepts: Arithmetic mean, Enzyme inhibitor, Coagulation, Prime number, Trigraph, Hemostasis, Bleeding, Inhibitor

74

Platelets are critical for haemostasis, thrombosis, and inflammatory responses, but the events that lead to mature platelet production remain incompletely understood. The bone marrow has been proposed to be a major site of platelet production, although there is indirect evidence that the lungs might also contribute to platelet biogenesis. Here, by directly imaging the lung microcirculation in mice, we show that a large number of megakaryocytes circulate through the lungs, where they dynamically release platelets. Megakaryocytes that release platelets in the lungs originate from extrapulmonary sites such as the bone marrow; we observed large megakaryocytes migrating out of the bone marrow space. The contribution of the lungs to platelet biogenesis is substantial, accounting for approximately 50% of total platelet production or 10 million platelets per hour. Furthermore, we identified populations of mature and immature megakaryocytes along with haematopoietic progenitors in the extravascular spaces of the lungs. Under conditions of thrombocytopenia and relative stem cell deficiency in the bone marrow, these progenitors can migrate out of the lungs, repopulate the bone marrow, completely reconstitute blood platelet counts, and contribute to multiple haematopoietic lineages. These results identify the lungs as a primary site of terminal platelet production and an organ with considerable haematopoietic potential.

Concepts: Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, Hemostasis, Coagulation, Thrombocytopenia, Red blood cell, Blood, Bone marrow, Platelet