Thrombin Generation as a Method to Identify the Risk of Bleeding in High Clinical-Risk Patients Using Dual Antiplatelet Therapy

C. P. D. M. de Breet, S. Zwaveling, M. J. A. Vries, R. G. van Oerle, Y. M. C. Henskens, A. W. J. Van't Hof, P. E. J. van der Meijden, L. Veenstra, H. ten Cate, R. H. Olie*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Patients using dual antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention are at risk for bleeding. It is currently unknown whether thrombin generation can be used to identify patients receiving dual antiplatelet therapy with increased bleeding risk. Objectives: To investigate whether thrombin generation measurement in plasma provides additional insight into the assessment of bleeding risk for high clinical-risk patients using dual antiplatelet therapy. Methods: Coagulation factors and thrombin generation in platelet-poor plasma were measured in 93 high clinical-risk frail patients using dual antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention. During 12-month follow-up, clinically relevant bleedings were reported. Thrombin generation at 1 and 6 months after percutaneous coronary intervention was compared between patients with and without bleeding events. Results: One month after percutaneous coronary intervention, the parameters of thrombin generation, endogenous thrombin potential, peak height, and velocity index were significantly lower in patients with bleeding in the following months compared to patients without bleeding. At 6 months follow-up, endogenous thrombin potential, peak height, and velocity index were still (significantly) decreased in the bleeding group as compared to non-bleeders. Thrombin generation in the patients' plasma was strongly dependent on factor II, V, and VIII activity and fibrinogen. Conclusion: High clinical-risk patients using dual antiplatelet therapy with clinically relevant bleeding during follow-up show reduced and delayed thrombin generation in platelet-poor plasma, possibly due to variation in coagulation factors. Thus, impaired thrombin-generating potential may be a "second hit" on top of dual antiplatelet therapy, increasing the bleeding risk in high clinical-risk patients. Thrombin generation has the potential to improve the identification of patients using dual antiplatelet therapy at increased risk of bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number679934
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in cardiovascular medicine
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2021


  • thrombin generation
  • dual antiplatelet therapy
  • bleeding risk
  • percutaneous coronary intervention
  • coagulation factors

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