Hemostatic abnormalities in patients with congestive heart failure: diagnostic significance and clinical challenge

Int J Cardiol. 2000 Aug;75(1):15-21. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5273(00)00300-4.


Knowledge of the pathogenesis of congestive heart failure (CHF) has improved greatly in recent years. However, this disease continues to cause one of the highest morbidities and mortalities in the Western world. The pathophysiology of heart failure is complex and much of our understanding revolves strictly around the neurohormonal mechanisms involved. Various pharmacologic interventions have significantly improved morbidity and include ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, diuretics, and inotropic agents. Yet, no consensus has been reached regarding the use of anticoagulants or antiplatelet agents. It has been suggested that CHF is associated with altered hemostasis, but whether this prothrombotic state contributes to the pathogenesis and progression of the disease is unknown. The purpose of this review article is to discuss our current knowledge of platelet activation, thrombin generation, fibrinolysis, and endothelial dysfunction in CHF patients, and the potential role of anticoagulants and/or antiplatelet agents in preventing these hemostatic abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Endothelins / blood
  • Endothelins / physiology
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Heart Failure / blood*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Hemostasis*
  • Humans
  • Platelet Activation
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombin / physiology
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Warfarin / therapeutic use


  • Anticoagulants
  • Biomarkers
  • Endothelins
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Warfarin
  • Thrombin