In acute coronary syndrome (ACS) cardiac cell damage is preceded by thrombosis. Therefore, plasma coagulation markers may have additional diagnostic relevance in ACS. By using novel coagulation assays this study aims to gain more insight into the relationship between the coagulation system and ACS.
We measured plasma thrombin generation, factor XIa and D-dimer levels in plasma from ACS (n = 104) and non-ACS patients (n = 42). Follow-up measurements (n = 73) were performed at 1 and 6 months. Associations between coagulation markers and recurrent cardiovascular events were calculated by logistic regression analysis.
Thrombin generation was significantly enhanced in ACS compared to non-ACS patients: peak height 148±53 vs. 122±42 nM. There was a significantly diminished ETP reduction (32 vs. 41%) and increased intrinsic coagulation activation (25 vs. 7%) in ACS compared to non-ACS patients. Furthermore, compared to non-ACS patients factor XIa and D-dimer levels were significantly elevated in ACS patients: 1.9±1.1 vs. 1.4±0.7 pM and 495(310–885) vs. 380(235–540) μg/L. Within the ACS spectrum, ST-elevated myocardial infarction patients had the highest prothrombotic profile. During the acute event, thrombin generation was significantly increased compared to 1 and 6 months afterwards: peak height 145±52 vs. 100±44 vs. 98±33 nM. Both peak height and factor XIa levels on admission predicted recurrent cardiovascular events (OR: 4.9 [95%CI 1.2–20.9] and 4.5 [1.1–18.9]).