Papers And Originals

Fibrinolysis in Cholestatic Jaundice

Br Med J 1973; 1 doi: (Published 17 March 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;1:640

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. A. Jedrychowski,
  2. P. Hillenbrand,
  3. A. B. Ajdukiewicz,
  4. S. P. Parbhoo,
  5. Sheila Sherlock


    The fibrinolytic system was studied in primary biliary cirrhosis (16 patients) and large bile duct obstruction (10 patients, nine of whom had carcinoma). Plasma fibrinolysis (plasminogen activator activity) was decreased and fibrinogen increased in both groups of patients, particularly in those with large duct obstruction. These changes were related to the degree of cholestasis. Plasminogen activator activity was inversely related to serum triglyceride levels in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. Urokinase inhibitors were decreased in both groups and antiplasmins increased in patients with large duct obstruction; fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products were normal in primary biliary cirrhosis and moderately increased in large duct obstruction. None of these fibrinolytic indices was related to the degree of cholestasis. Fibrinolytic activity and fibrinogen returned almost to normal levels after palliative surgery in the three patients with large duct obstruction who were studied. The decreased plasma fibrinolysis and increased fibrinogen may be due to altered lipid metabolism in cholestatic jaundice. In patients undergoing surgery for large duct obstruction there may be an increased risk of thrombosis.