The limits of simulation of the clotting system

R. Wagenvoord, P. W. Hemker, H. C. Hemker*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Objective: To investigate in how far successful simulation of a thrombin generation (TG) curve gives information about the underlying biochemical reaction mechanism. Results: The large majority of TG curves do not contain more information than can be expressed by four parameters. A limited kinetic mechanism of six reactions, comprising proteolytic activation of factor (F) X and FII, feedback activation of FV, a cofactor function of FVa and thrombin inactivation by antithrombin can simulate any TG curve in a number of different ways. The information content of a TG curve is thus much smaller than the information required to describe a physiologically realistic reaction scheme of TG. Consequently, much of the input information is irrelevant for the output. FVIII deficiency or activation of protein C can, for example, be simulated by a reaction mechanism in which these factors do not occur. Conclusion: A model that comprises not more than six reactions can simulate the same TG curve in a number of possible ways. The possibilities increase exponentially as the model grows more realistic. Successful simulation of experimental data therefore does not validate the underlying assumptions. A fortiori, simulation that is not checked against experimental data lacks any probative force. Simulation can be of use, however, to detect mistaken hypotheses and for parameter estimation in systems with fewer than five free parameters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1331-1338
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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