Predictive value of factors of the hemostatic system in screening procedures for coronary artery disease
Thromboembolic events play a major pathogenetic role in the final occlusion of atherosclerotic vessels. May such a catastrophic event be predicted or an increased risk be indicated by analyzing the hemostatic system in plasma? A huge literature exists about disturbances ofthe platelet, coagulation and fibrinolytic systemsafter atherosclerotic events such as myocardial infarction or stroke. This data, however, has no predictive significance. In contrast, the epidemiological studies in healthy persons have shown fibrinogen to be a potent risk predictor which is independent from other risk factors such as age, cholesterol or cigarette smoking. Results on factor VII:C are still controversial. Ongoing studies have included further factors of the hemostatic system. A second approach to elaborate the predictive power of hemostatic factors is to follow up patients with overt atherosclerotic disease and to correlate baseline hemostatic tests with event recurrences. The ECAT Angina Pectoris Study performed in 19 European clinical centers will present its prospective results by 1990. Some correlations of risk factors at baseline point to the many interrelationships among each other and to the need of careful statistical management of such data. It is reasonable to include fibrinogen in the recently developed coronary risk scores. So far, thrombin clotting time procedures, such as the Clauss method, appear to be appropriate for the purposes of risk prediction.
Key-wordsAngina pectoris Coronary risk Epidemiological studies Factor VII Fibrinogen Thrombin clotting time
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