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      Liver stiffness and thrombin generation in compensated cirrhosis

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          Decompensated cirrhosis is associated with coagulation abnormalities that can increase the risk of thrombosis and bleeding. It is unclear precisely when these abnormalities arise and whether they are exacerbated as compensated cirrhosis progresses. Transient elastography using FibroScan generates liver stiffness measurements ( LSM) that associate with portal hypertension, clinical outcomes and provides prognostic information at an earlier stage than traditional liver function scores eg, MELD score.


          To characterize thrombin generation in patients with compensated cirrhosis and to determine whether parameters of coagulation change throughout compensated cirrhosis, staged using LSM.


          Blood samples were collected from well‐compensated cirrhotic patients n = 61, All Child Pugh A stage) attending the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Ireland. Comprehensive clinical staging of liver disease, including LSM, was performed. Tissue Factor‐stimulated thrombin generation was measured by calibrated automated thrombography.


          Using LSM to stage well‐compensated cirrhotic patients, we demonstrate a significant decrease in the rate of propagation, the rate of attenuation, and total thrombin generation as LSM increase. LSM correlated with endogenous thrombin potential, peak thrombin generation, the rate of propagation, and the rate of attenuation. This association between thrombin generation and LSM was still evident in sub‐analyses excluding patients with ongoing alcohol use, active HCV infection, or a history of decompensation. In contrast, there was no significant correlation between thrombin generation, prothrombin times, Child‐Pugh scores, or MELD scores.


          Liver stiffness measurements identify differences in parameters of thrombin generation within a cohort of compensated cirrhotic patients before changes in clotting times occur.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Enoxaparin prevents portal vein thrombosis and liver decompensation in patients with advanced cirrhosis.

          We performed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of enoxaparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin, in preventing portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in patients with advanced cirrhosis. In a nonblinded, single-center study, 70 outpatients with cirrhosis (Child-Pugh classes B7-C10) with demonstrated patent portal veins and without hepatocellular carcinoma were assigned randomly to groups that were given enoxaparin (4000 IU/day, subcutaneously for 48 weeks; n = 34) or no treatment (controls, n = 36). Ultrasonography (every 3 months) and computed tomography (every 6 months) were performed to check the portal vein axis. The primary outcome was prevention of PVT. Radiologists and hepatologists that assessed outcomes were blinded to group assignments. Analysis was by intention to treat. At 48 weeks, none of the patients in the enoxaparin group had developed PVT, compared with 6 of 36 (16.6%) controls (P = .025). At 96 weeks, no patient developed PVT in the enoxaparin group, compared with 10 of 36 (27.7%) controls (P = .001). At the end of the follow-up period, 8.8% of patients in the enoxaparin group and 27.7% of controls developed PVT (P = .048). The actuarial probability of PVT was lower in the enoxaparin group (P = .006). Liver decompensation was less frequent among patients given enoxaparin (11.7%) than controls (59.4%) (P < .0001); overall values were 38.2% vs 83.0%, respectively (P < .0001). The actuarial probability of liver decompensation was lower in the enoxaparin group (P < .0001). Eight patients in the enoxaparin group and 13 controls died. The actuarial probability of survival was higher in the enoxaparin group (P = .020). No relevant side effects or hemorrhagic events were reported. In a small randomized controlled trial, a 12-month course of enoxaparin was safe and effective in preventing PVT in patients with cirrhosis and a Child-Pugh score of 7-10. Enoxaparin appeared to delay the occurrence of hepatic decompensation and to improve survival. Copyright © 2012 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Determination of reliability criteria for liver stiffness evaluation by transient elastography.

            Liver stiffness evaluation (LSE) is usually considered as reliable when it fulfills all the following criteria: ≥10 valid measurements, ≥60% success rate, and interquartile range / median ratio (IQR/M) ≤0.30. However, such reliable LSE have never been shown to be more accurate than unreliable LSE. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the relevance of the usual definition for LSE reliability, and to improve reliability by using diagnostic accuracy as a primary outcome in a large population. 1,165 patients with chronic liver disease from 19 French centers were included. All patients had liver biopsy and LSE. 75.7% of LSE were reliable according to the usual definition. However, these reliable LSE were not significantly more accurate than unreliable LSE with, respectively: 85.8% versus 81.5% well-classified patients for the diagnosis of cirrhosis (P = 0.082). In multivariate analyses with different diagnostic targets, LSE median and IQR/M were independent predictors of fibrosis staging, with no significant influence of ≥10 valid measurements or LSE success rate. These two reliability criteria determined three LSE groups: "very reliable" (IQR/M ≤0.10), "reliable" (0.10 0.30 with LSE median 0.30 with LSE median ≥7.1 kPa). The rates of well-classified patients for the diagnosis of cirrhosis were, respectively: 90.4%, 85.8%, and 69.5% (P < 10(-3) ). According to these new reliability criteria, 9.1% of LSE were poorly reliable (versus 24.3% unreliable LSE with the usual definition, P < 10(-3) ), 74.3% were reliable, and 16.6% were very reliable. The usual definition for LSE reliability is not relevant. LSE reliability depends on IQR/M according to liver stiffness median level, defining thus three reliability categories: very reliable, reliable, and poorly reliable LSE. (HEPATOLOGY 2013). Copyright © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
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              Coagulation disorders and hemostasis in liver disease: pathophysiology and critical assessment of current management.

              Normal coagulation has classically been conceptualized as a Y-shaped pathway, with distinct "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" components initiated by factor XII or factor VIIa/tissue factor, respectively, and converging in a "common" pathway at the level of the FXa/FVa (prothrombinase) complex. Until recently, the lack of an established alternative concept of hemostasis has meant that most physicians view the "cascade" as a model of physiology. This view has been reinforced by the fact that screening coagulation tests (APTT, prothrombin time--INR) are often used as though they are generally predictive of clinical bleeding. The shortcomings of this older model of normal coagulation are nowhere more apparent than in its clinical application to the complex coagulation disorders of acute and chronic liver disease. In this condition, the clotting cascade is heavily influenced by numerous currents and counter-currents resulting in a mixture of pro- and anticoagulant forces that are themselves further subject to change with altered physiological stress such as super-imposed infection or renal failure. This report represents a summary of a recent multidisciplinary symposium held in Charlottesville, VA. We present an overview of the coagulation system in liver disease with emphasis on the limitations of the current clinical paradigm and the need for a critical re-evaluation of the current tenets governing clinical practice. With the realization that there is often limited or conflicting data, we have attempted to represent diverse opinion and experience from the perspectives of both hepatology and hematology beginning with a brief update on the physiology of normal coagulation.

                Author and article information

                Res Pract Thromb Haemost
                Res Pract Thromb Haemost
                Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                28 January 2019
                April 2019
                : 3
                : 2 ( doiID: 10.1002/rth2.2019.3.issue-2 )
                : 291-297
                [ 1 ] Department of Hepatology Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin Ireland
                [ 2 ] Department of Haematology Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin Ireland
                [ 3 ] SPHERE Research Group Conway Institute University College Dublin Dublin Ireland
                [ 4 ] School of Medicine and Medical Sciences University College Dublin Dublin Ireland
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Dr. Stephen Stewart, Department of Hepatology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7, Ireland.

                Email: sstewart@

                © 2019 The Authors. Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc on behalf of International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Pages: 7, Words: 4476
                Funded by: Health Research Board Ireland
                Award ID: HRA‐POR‐2013‐377
                Original Article
                Original Articles: Haemostasis
                Custom metadata
                April 2019
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version: mode:remove_FC converted:15.04.2019

                thrombin, blood coagulation, liver disease, cirrhosis


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