Objective: To determine the usefulness of measuring sensitive markers of the coagulation-fibrinolysis system (i.e., thrombin-antithrombin III complex [TAT], D dimer fragments [DD], and plasmin-alpha2-plasmin inhibitor complex [PIC]) for evaluating disease activity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Methods: We studied 57 SLE patients. Plasma concentrations of DD were measured by latex agglutination using monoclonal antibodies; TAT and PIC were determined by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Disease activity was determined by using the SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI).
Results: Levels of TAT, DD, and PIC were higher in SLE patients than in healthy controls (P<0.05). Levels of TAT and DD showed good correlations with SLEDAI scores (for TAT r=0.66, P<0.001; for DD r=0.50, P<0.001). Elevated levels of TAT, DD, and PIC were decreased following treatment.
Conclusion: These results strongly suggest that measurement of molecular markers of hemostasis is useful for evaluating disease activity in patients with SLE.