Thromboembolic events among HIV infected persons are a recognized clinical problem but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. To assess whether coagulation and fibrinolysis differ between long-term treated HIV infected individuals (HIV+) and healthy controls (CON), we investigated functional plasma coagulation by thrombelastography (TEG) and plasma markers of endothelial and platelet activation.
In 67 successfully long-term treated HIV+ and 15 CON we analyzed stored plasma samples by TEG, with or without addition of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), and measured levels of C-reactive protein, thrombomodulin, syndecan-1, sVE-cadherin, soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Compared to CON, HIV+ had delayed clot formation (reaction (R)-time 14.2 min. vs. 11.2 min., p = 0.0004) and reduced clot formation rapidity (angle 22.6° vs. 48.6 °, p = <0.0001). Clot lyses induced by tPA was accelerated in HIV+ displaying enhanced clot degradation after 30 and 60 min (53.9 % vs. 24.2 %, p < 0.0001 and 77.4 % vs. 59.9 %, p < 0.0001, respectively). sCD40L and TEG R-time correlated negatively in both HIV+ and CON (Rho =−0.502, p < 0.001 and rho =−0.651, p = 0.012).
No previous studies have examined plasma coagulation by TEG in HIV, however, we have previously demonstrated that HIV+ display hypocoagulability in whole blood by TEG in accordance with the results of this study. Others have reported of HIV associated changes in the hemostatic system in a pro-coagulant direction based on measurements of isolated components of the coagulation pahways. In disease conditions, the flowing blood may change from “normal” to hyper- or hypocoagulant or to hyper- or hypofibrinolytic. A balance may exist in the flowing blood, i.e. between blood cells and the plasma phase, so that pro-coagulant blood cells are balanced by a hypocoagulable plasma phase; thus alterations that may promote thromboembolic events in the patient may at the same time appear as a hypocoagulable profile when evaluated in vitro.
Plasma from long-term treated HIV infected persons displays a hypocoagulable profile with reduced fibrinolytic resistance as compared to healthy controls.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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