Purpose: To investigate whether a chronic pro-thrombotic tendency, which may contribute to a high rate of atherothrombotic disease, is present in patients treated for continuous peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), and, if so, what its pattern is. We investigated this issue by jointly exploring all the systems involved, the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems and platelets.
Methods: Markers of coagulation activation, markers of fibrinolysis activation, and standard fibrinolytic parameters and platelet aggregation induced by different agents were measured in 15 patients treated by CAPD and in 15 matched, healthy controls. All CAPD patients received erythropoietin, were in the stable condition, and did not have acute disease or malignancy.
Results: CAPD patients had substantially (p < 0.001) increased levels of prothrombin fragments F1+2, disclosing a low-grade activation of the coagulation system. D-dimer was also significantly (p < 0.05) increased, whereas the levels of t-PA antigen and activity, PAI antigen and activity, and plasminogen were comparable to controls, suggesting that slight secondary (and not primary) activation of fibrinolysis due to coagulation activation took place. Patients had significantly (p < 0.05) elevated levels of fibrinogen. A study of platelet aggregation (induced by adenosine diphosphate, collagen, and epinephrine) did not show platelet hyperactivity in patients.
Conclusions: We found that a pro-thrombotic tendency is present in the plasma of CAPD patients. The main reason for a pro-thrombotic state is chronic low-grade activation of the coagulation system and elevated levels of fibrinogen. The fibrinolytic system and platelets seemingly do not contribute to this pro-thrombotic tendency.