Introduction: Oral contraceptives (OC) increase the risk of venous thromboembolism that depends on the OC formulation and could at least partially be explained by impaired function of the protein C-system(APC resistance) and the tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI)-system. There is limited information available on the effects of OC, containing a newer progestogen-drospirenone (DRSP-OC) on these two major anticoagulant pathways, thrombin generation, reflecting the overall state of coagulation, and other coagulation parameters. Methods: In a study population consisting of 14 healthy women (age 21-33 years) we investigated the effect of the menstrual cycle and subsequent use of DRSP-OC on APC resistance, the function of the TFPI-system, thrombin generation and on their major determinants, i.e. prothrombin, antithrombin, FV, FX, FVIII, protein C, protein S-(total and free) and TFPI(full-length and free). Results: All studied parameters remained unchanged during the menstrual cycle. During DRSP-OC use we observed a significant increase in APC resistance (-2.4-fold), thrombin generation measured at low (-2.2-fold) and high tissue factor concentrations (-1.4-fold), plasma concentrations of prothrombin (19%), FX (31%), FVIII (17%) and protein C (43%). DRSP-OC use impaired the function of the TFPI-system and decreased plasma levels of antithrombin (-6%), FV (-22%), protein S-total (-21%), protein S-free (-20%), TFPIfull-length (-36%) and TFPIfree (-46%). Conclusions: DRSP-OC caused procoagulant changes in all studied haemostatic parameters. The impairment of the protein C-and TFPI-systems was more pronounced than the impairment of the coagulation pathways and can at least partially account for the increased risk of venous thromboembolism in users of DRSP-OC.
- Protein S
- Tthrombin generation
- Drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives