Hypercoagulability and tissue factor gene upregulation in hematologic malignancies

Semin Thromb Hemost. 2008 Mar;34(2):204-10. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1079262.


Thrombotic complications in patients with hematologic malignancies are as frequent as in those with solid tumors and significantly affect morbidity and mortality. In acute leukemia, thrombosis and bleeding manifestations may occur concomitantly as a part of the same thrombo-hemorrhagic syndrome. In patients with Philadelphia chromosome-negative chronic myeloproliferative disorders (i.e., essential thrombocythemia [ET] and polycythemia vera [PV]), a thrombosis rate as high as 40% has been recorded. A hypercoagulable state is present in virtually all of these patients, even without clinical manifestations. In this review, we focus on the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the hypercoagulable state of these two hematologic malignancies. Although the pathogenesis of hypercoagulability is complex, a central role is played by the fundamental molecular changes of both the leukemic cells and of the progeny arising from the hematopoietic progenitor cells that have undergone clonal rearrangement. These cells overexpress procoagulant factors, as well as adhesion molecules and cytokines capable of inducing procoagulant changes in the vascular wall and stimulating increased cellular interactions. Recent molecular studies in experimental models of human tumors have demonstrated for the first time that oncogene- and repressor gene-mediated neoplastic transformation induces activation of blood coagulation. Similarly, in cells from patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia, the T15-17 translocation induces hyperexpression of tissue factor (TF) and renders the patient hypercoagulable. Furthermore, in blood cells from patients with PV or ET, the presence of the JAK2V617F mutation translates into activation of hemostasis, with increased expression of platelet-associated TF microparticles and the formation of increased platelet/neutrophil aggregates. Understanding the pathophysiology of hypercoagulability is critical to the design of appropriate measures for intervention in these hematologic disorders to prevent thromboembolic complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hematologic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Hemostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / blood
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / genetics
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders / blood
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / blood
  • Polycythemia Vera / blood
  • Polycythemia Vera / genetics
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / blood
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / genetics
  • Thrombophilia / genetics*
  • Thromboplastin / genetics*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Thromboplastin