Plasminogen and fibrinogen plasma levels in coronary artery disease
Lima, Luciana Moreira
Carvalho, Maria das Graças
Sousa, Marinez de Oliveira
The formation of thrombi at the site of atherosclerotic lesions plays a central role in atherothrombosis. Impaired fibrinolysis may exacerbate pre-existing coronary artery disease and potentiate its evolution. While the fibrinogen plasma level has been strongly associated with the severity of coronary artery disease, its relevance in the evaluation of plasminogen in coronary artery disease patients remains unclear. This study evaluated fibrinogen and plasminogen levels in subjects with coronary artery disease as diagnosed by angiography. This is a cross-sectional study. Blood samples obtained from 17 subjects with angiographically normal coronary arteries (controls), 12 with mild/moderate atheromatosis and 28 with severe atheromatosis were evaluated. Plasma plasminogen and fibrinogen levels were measured by chromogenic and coagulometric methods, respectively. Fibrinogen levels were significantly higher in the severe atheromatosis group compared to the other groups(p-value < 0.0001). A significant positive correlation was observed between the severity of coronary artery diseaseand increasing fibrinogen levels (r = 0.50; p-value < 0.0001) and between fibrinogen and plasminogen levels (r =0.46; p-value < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in the plasminogen levels between groups. Plasma fibrinogen, but not plasminogen levels were higher in patients with coronary artery disease compared to angiographically normal subjects. The plasma fibrinogen levels also appear to be associated with the severity of the disease. The results of this study provide no evidence of a significant correlation between plasma plasminogen levels and the progress of coronary stenosis in the study population.