Papers And Originals

Fibrinogen-Fibrin Degradation Product Levels in Different Types of Intravascular Haemolysis

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.3.5878.471 (Published 01 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:471
  1. S. D. Slater,
  2. C. R. M. Prentice,
  3. W. H. Bain,
  4. J. D. Briggs

    Abstract

    To examine the possibility that intravascular haemolysis may lead to intravascular coagulation we have compared the degree of fibrin deposition, as measured by levels of serum fibrinogen-fibrin degradation products (F.D.P.), in two different types of intravascular haemolysis associated with red cell fragmentation. F.D.P. levels in 56 patients with intravascular haemolysis secondary to prosthetic heart valves were compared with those in 18 patients who had microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia (M.H.A.) associated with malignant hypertension or renal disease. F.D.P. levels were raised in almost all the patients with M.H.A., and this group had significantly higher levels than any of the valve replacement groups. In contrast, in the prosthetic valve patients F.D.P. levels were usually normal and bore no relation to the degree of haemolysis. It is suggested that in the absence of other precipitating factors intravascular haemolysis will not initiate intravascular coagulation. In M.H.A., while the intravascular haemolysis appears to be a consequence of an underlying intravascular coagulation, it is likely that persistence of the coagulation disturbance is related more to factors such as small vessel damage than to the release of any thromboplastic substances from fragmented red cells.