Increased thrombogenesity in patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease

Circ J. 2007 Jun;71(6):948-53. doi: 10.1253/circj.71.948.


Background: The basic mechanisms of thromboembolism in cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCHD) have not been well clarified. P-selectin on the platelets reflects platelet activation. Thrombomodulin is a critical cofactor for thrombin-mediated activation of protein C and reflects the anticoagulant activity of the endothelium. The present study was performed to evaluate whether platelet activation exists in patients with CCHD.

Methods and results: Platelet P-selectin as a marker of platelet activation, plasma thrombomodulin level and protein C activity as markers of anticoagulant activity of the endothelium and thrombin - antithrombin complex III (TAT) were examined in 35 patients with CCHD. Plasma thrombomodulin level (1.1+/-0.9 vs 2.2+/-0.3 FU/ml) and protein C activity (71.1+/-29.8 vs 117.8+/-24.8%) were significantly lower in patients with CCHD as compared with the control subjects. The levels of plasma TAT (255+/-811 vs 1.9+/-0.9 ng/ml) and P-selectin on platelets (6.3 +/-4.5 vs 3.3+/-0.3 mean fluorescence intensity) were significantly higher in the patients with CCHD than in the controls. Four of the CCHD patients who experienced thromboembolic events had elevated levels of platelet P-selectin (p=0.02) compared with CCHD patients without thromboembolic events.

Conclusion: Platelet activation exists in patients with CCHD and it may play an important role in the thromboembolic events in CCHD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / blood*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • P-Selectin / blood*
  • Platelet Activation*
  • Protein C / analysis*
  • Thrombin / analysis*
  • Thromboembolism / blood
  • Thromboembolism / etiology
  • Thrombomodulin / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • P-Selectin
  • Protein C
  • Thrombomodulin
  • Thrombin