Fibrinogen and thrombophilia

Clin Lab Sci. 2001 Fall;14(4):269-71.

Abstract

The objective of this article is to illustrate the significant relationship between fibrinogen and thrombophilia, the tendency toward clot formation. This deserves attention because thrombus formation leads to disease states such as pulmonary embolism, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). The latter holds the distinction of being the leading cause of mortality among the U.S. population. Elevated levels of plasma fibrinogen have been correlated with increased risk of ischemic events. Its relationship is even stronger than that of increased total cholesterol. Many studies have demonstrated that fibrinogen is a potent predictor of coronary artery disease, and it is also positively associated with stroke. For all of its predictive power, fibrinogen's use as a yardstick for cardiovascular risk has not gained widespread acceptance. The problem with fibrinogen as a clinical tool for predicting coronary events is that laboratory measurement is not standardized, and specific clinical interventions to lower fibrinogen levels are not available. Fibrinogen is also an acute phase reactant. It fluctuates with the onset of inflammatory stares. When there is a change in the structure of the fibrinogen molecule, either by hereditary or acquired conditions, there can be dramatic effects, or none at all. Since fibrinogen plays several roles in maintaining hemostatic balance, abnormalities in molecular composition can be reflected in various ways, including thrombus formation.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fibrinogen / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombophilia / physiopathology*

Substances

  • Fibrinogen