Background and aims: Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is a critical complication in cirrhotic patients. We explored the role of the activated factor VII-antithrombin (FVIIa-AT) complex and enhanced monocytic tissue factor (TF) expression in the development and prediction of non-neoplastic PVT in cirrhotic patients.
Material and methods: A total of 30 HCV-cirrhosis patients were included in our study. They were compared to 35 cirrhotic patients without PVT, 15 non-cirrhotic patients with PVT, and 15 healthy controls. The plasma level of the FVIIa-AT complexes was analyzed by ELISA. MIF CD142, CD86, and HLA-DR on monocytes (CD14) were determined by flow cytometry.
Results: Compared with cirrhotic patients without PVT, cirrhotic patients with PVT had comparable plasma values of FVIIa, AT, and the FVIIa-AT complex. However, they had significantly lower values compared to non-cirrhotic patients with PVT and healthy controls. Cirrhotic patients with PVT had increased monocytic TF expression (MIF CD142) compared to non-PVT cirrhotic patients and healthy controls [86.5 (93.5) vs. 18 (32.0) and 11.0 (6.0), respectively; p < 0.001 for each]. However, cirrhosis PVT could not be distinguished from non-cirrhosis PVT. The area under the ROC curve of MIF CD142 was 0.759 (0.641- 0.876; p = 0.000) at an optimal cut-off value of 45, which yielded a sensitivity of 60% and a specificity of 77.1%, as well as a PPV and NPV of 69.2% for each.
Conclusion: Enhanced expression of monocytic TF may have a role in the development and prediction of non-neoplastic PVT in HCV-cirrhosis patients. Large multicenter studies are necessary to validate our results.
Keywords: Flow cytometry; Portal hypertension; Tissue factor.