Increased tissue factor pathway inhibitor activity is associated with myocardial infarction in young women: results from the RATIO study

K. Winckers*, Bob Siegerink, C. Duckers, L. F. Maurissen, G. Tans, E. Castoldi, H. M. H. Spronk, H. Ten Cate, A. Algra, T. M. Hackeng, Frits R. Rosendaal

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: The tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI)/protein S anticoagulant system is a potent inhibitor of blood coagulation. TFPI and protein S are major determinants of thrombin generation (TG) tests determined at low tissue factor (TF) and at high TF concentrations in the presence of activated protein C (APC). Both TFPI and protein S protect against venous thrombosis, but the importance of the TFPI/protein S system in arterial thrombosis remains unclear. Objectives: To investigate the influence of the TFPI/protein S anticoagulant system on the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in young women. Methods: The RATIO study is a case-control study in women under 50 years of age, including 205 patients and 638 controls. TFPI and protein S were quantified using ELISA. The TFPI/protein S activity (nTFPIr) and the APC sensitivity ratio (nAPCsr) were determined using TG tests. Odds ratios (ORs) adjusted for putative confounders and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were determined. Results: Women with MI had higher TFPI levels than controls (135.9 +/- 40% vs. 124.2 +/- 41%), resulting in increased TFPI/protein S activities and increased APC sensitivity. Furthermore, an increased TFPI activity was associated with MI [nTFPIr: adjusted OR Q1 vs. Q4 = 2.1 (95% CI 1.1-4.1)]. Additionally, an increased APC sensitivity was associated with MI [nAPCsr: adjusted OR Q1 vs. Q4 = 1.7 (95% CI 0.9-3.2)] Conclusion: Women with MI had increased TFPI levels compared with controls. Consequently, the TFPI/protein S activity and APC sensitivity are increased in women with MI. Whether this increase in TFPI activity acts as a compensating mechanism for an increased procoagulant state or is a marker of endothelial damage remains to be investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2243-2250
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • APC resistance
  • epidemiology
  • myocardial infarction
  • protein S
  • TFPI
  • young women

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