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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1650
Caserta L., Caserta R., Torella M., Perricone F., Nesti E., Sessa M., Tagliaferri A., De Francesco F., De Lucia D., Panariello S.
Aim. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in healthy postmenopausal women. However recent studies suggest a 2-4 fold increased risk of idiopathic venous thromboembolism (VTE) among users of HRT. Our aim was to evaluate the overall effect of HRT on hemostatic variables probably related to increased VTE risk reported in epidemiological studies.
Methods. Therefore, 100 healthy postmeno-pausal women aged 45-60 years divided into 50 HRT non-users and 50 HRT users were examined. The authors assayed on the authomated coagulometer ACL7000 (Instrumentation Laboratory, Milan) the procoagulant proteins: factor VIII (VIII:C) and factor VII (VII:C); the natural anticoagulant proteins: antithrombin (ATIII), protein C (PC), protein S (PS) and the resistance to anticoagulant action of activated protein C (APC-Resistance). The free tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) was measured with an ELISA method (Diagnostica Stagò; France, Roche). The in vivo coagulation and fibrinolysis activation was evaluated by the assays of prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2) and plasmin- antiplasmin complexes (PAP) using ELISA techniques.
Results. Increased levels of FVIII:C and FVII:C were observed in HRT users and HRT non-users women compared to controls (FVIII:C= 126±58%, 120±59% vs 85±15% p=0.0001; FVII: C 113±23%, 103±19% vs 90±16% p=0.0001). The activation peptides were significantly different compared to those found in control subjects; higher values were observed in HRT users compared to HRT non-users (F1+2=1.11±0.44 nM, 077±0.31nM vs 0.45±0.35 p=0.00001; P-AP= 606±406 ng/ml, 514±205ng/ml vs 235±59 p=0.0001). The ATIII and the PC were similar among the 3 different groups of subjects, but reduced levels of PS were observed in HRT users (PS 93±23%, 105±22% vs 109±12 p=0.0001). The mean normalized APC sensivity ratio (APC-SR) was lower in the two populations of women as compared with that of controls (nAPC-SR 1.02±0.7, 1.02±0.8 vs 1.1±25 p=0.02). The values of free TFPI were reduced in HRT users compared to HRT non-users (9.1±1.9 ng/ml, 10.1±2.3 ng/ml vs 4.6±1.5ng/ml p<0.0001).
Conclusion. HRT appears to be associated to a shift in the procoagulant-anticoagulant balance towards a procoagulant state. The changes in hemostatic system could explain the increased risk of VTE in healthy postmenopausal women during HRT, nevertheless this risk could be higher in women known to have a congenital or acquired thrombophilic state.