Journal Article

Anticoagulation intensity sufficient for haemodialysis does not prevent activation of coagulation and platelets

Solbjørg Sagedal, Anders Hartmann, Kristina Sundstrøm, Stine Bjørnsen and Frank Brosstad

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 16, issue 5, pages 987-993
Published in print May 2001 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Anticoagulation intensity sufficient for haemodialysis does not prevent activation of coagulation and platelets

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Background. A single bolus of dalteparin at the start of haemodialysis (HD) may prevent clot formation, but subclinical activation of platelets and coagulation may still occur. Consequently, the relationship between clinical clotting events and activation markers of platelets and coagulation before and during HD is of interest.

Methods. The effect of tapered doses of dalteparin during 84 HD sessions (4–4.5 h) was prospectively examined in 12 patients. Six of the patients were treated with warfarin. The initial dalteparin dose was reduced to 50% if no clotting was observed. Clinical clotting was evaluated by inspection of the air trap every hour and by inspection of the dialyser after each session. Anti‐FXa activity was measured for assessment of dalteparin activity. Markers of activated plasma coagulation, (thrombin‐antithrombin (TAT) and prothrombin fragment 1+2 (PF1+2)) and a marker of platelet activation (β‐thromboglobulin, β‐TG), were measured before the start of and after 3 and 4 h of dialysis. Ten pre‐dialytic patients with chronic renal failure served as a control group. A total sof 230 measurements of each parameter were performed.

Results. An anti‐FXa activity above 0.4 IU/ml at the end of HD inhibits overt clot formation for 4 h. This was obtained by an intravenous dalteparin dose of about 5000 IU. TAT and PF1+2 correlated to clinical clotting episodes (r=0.50 and 0.47, P<0.001). β‐TG was not significantly correlated to clinical clotting. All parameters increased during the sessions (TAT, PF1+2, β‐TG, P<0.001). When measurements during clinical clotting episodes were disregarded, all parameters were still markedly increased. Warfarin‐treated patients had lower TAT and PF1+2. Dialysis patients had higher β‐TG values than pre‐dialytic patients.

Conclusion. Despite clinically effective anticoagulation, obtained by dalteparin administration, platelets and coagulation are activated by HD, resulting in a potentially thrombophilic state. Warfarin treatment reduces clinical clot formation and subclinical activation of coagulation.

Keywords: dalteparin; haemodialysis; plasmin antiplasmin; prothrombin fragment 1+2 (PF1+2); thrombin‐antithrombin; β‐thromboglobulin

Journal Article.  4573 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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