Increased Clot Formation in the Absence of Increased Thrombin Generation in Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease: A Case-Control Study

Marie-Claire F. Kleinegris*, Joke Konings, Jan W. Daemen, Yvonne Henskens, Bas de Laat, Henri M. H. Spronk, Arina J. ten Cate-Hoek, Hugo ten Cate

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: In peripheral arterial disease (PAD), activation of the hemostatic system may contribute to atherosclerosis progression and atherothrombotic events.

Objective: This case control study assesses the overall coagulation status in PAD patients by evaluating coagulation markers in combination with thrombin generation potential, whole blood (WB) clot formation, and fibrinolysis.

Methods: In blood from 40 PAD patients (n = 20 with cardiovascular event within 1 year after initial diagnosis, n = 20 without) and 40 apparently healthy controls, thrombin generation was determined in WB and platelet poor plasma. Whole blood rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) measurements were triggered with tissue factor with/ without tissue plasminogen activator.

Results: We observed increased levels of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, leukocytes, eosinophil granulocytes, vWF antigen, fibrinogen, and D-dimer in PAD patients (p <0.05). Markers of thrombin generation potential showed no difference between patients and healthy controls. In PAD patients with event compared to patients without, WB-thrombin generation showed a lower thrombin potential when triggered with 0 and 2.5 pM tissue factor. The ROTEM clotting assay showed significantly faster clot formation and increased clot firmness in PAD patients compared to controls. No significant differences were found for parameters of clot degradation.

Conclusion: There are no significant differences between the thrombin generation profiles of PAD patients and healthy controls. Between PAD patients with and without cardiovascular event, the WB thrombin generation appears to differ. Mechanistically, PAD patients show an increased ability to form a stable clot in WB in comparison to healthy controls. This is most likely due to the increased fibrinogen levels related to the inflammation in atherosclerosis, confirming the importance of the inflammation-coagulation axis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2017


  • coagulation
  • intermittent claudication
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • thrombin generation
  • thromboelastometry


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