Evaluation of the procoagulant activity of endogenous phospholipids in the platelet-free plasma of children with sickle cell disease using functional assays

Thromb Res. 2012 Aug;130(2):259-64. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2011.10.016. Epub 2011 Nov 12.


Background: The mechanisms of hypercoagulability in sickle cell disease (SCD) are poorly understood.

Objective: We aimed to explore the procoagulant activity of endogenous phospholipids (ePL) in the platelet-free plasma of SCD children.

Methods: A factor Xa clotting time (XACT), thrombin generation (TG) and a capture-based assay for the detection of procoagulant microparticles (PMP) were used. Forty three SCD children (35 SS, 6 SC and 2 Sβ+) were evaluated at steady-state and compared to 20 controls. Fourteen patients were also evaluated during vaso-occlusive crisis. TG was performed using 10 pM tissue factor without addition of exogenous phospholipids. A control condition was also performed using 10 pM tissue factor and 4 μM phospholipids. Percentages of the test/control conditions were calculated for the peak height (% peak), endogenous thrombin potential (% ETP) and velocity index (% VI).

Results: XACT times were shorter, PMP levels, peak height and velocity index of thrombin generation were higher in SCD patients than controls. Lag time and ETP were not different between the two groups. % peak, % ETP and % VI were higher in patients than controls. Significant correlations were found between PMP levels and XACT, also between PMP levels and peak height, velocity index, ETP and their respective percentages to the control condition, but not with lag time. Double heterozygous patients showed intermediate values for XACT and TG parameters. No significant difference was observed when comparing patients at steady-state versus vaso-occlusive crisis.

Conclusion: High procoagulant activity of ePL was observed in the platelet-free plasma of SCD children, probably borne by procoagulant microparticles. This may contribute to a high hemostatic potential and predisposition to thrombotic complications in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / blood*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / complications*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / metabolism
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Xa / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phospholipids / blood*
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Thrombin / metabolism
  • Thrombophilia / blood*
  • Thrombophilia / complications*
  • Thrombophilia / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Phospholipids
  • Thrombin
  • Factor Xa