Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why 'Thick' Blood Protects From A Heart Attack

Date:
August 25, 2009
Source:
University Hospital Heidelberg
Summary:
"Thick" blood can cause heart attack and stroke, but also prevent them. Scientists have explained the mechanism of this clinical paradox for the first time on an animal model. Mice with a greater tendency to form blood clots have larger plaques in their vessels, but they are more stable. Thus, there is less risk that these plaques will rupture and obstruct circulation.

“Thick” blood can cause heart attack and stroke, but also prevent them. Scientists at Heidelberg University Hospital have explained the mechanism of this clinical paradox for the first time on an animal model. Mice with a greater tendency to form blood clots have larger plaques in their vessels, but they are more stable. Thus, there is less risk that these plaques will rupture and obstruct circulation.

In principle, the more blood coagulates, the greater is the risk of vascular obstruction. Anticoagulants protect against these complications. But clinical studies have thus far not proven that an increased clotting tendency also has a detrimental effect for plaque development. Dr. Berend Isermann, consultant at Heidelberg University Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine I and Clinical Chemistry (Medical Director: Professor Dr. Peter Nawroth), and his team have now found an explanation for this.

Study on an animal model: larger but more stable plaques

The researchers examined mice with elevated blood fat levels and a genetic defect that leads to an increase in blood clotting. The mice developed larger plaques than those without the genetic defect, but the plaques were more stable. In addition, no vascular obstruction was observed, as the vascular wall expanded to adapt to the new situation. The negative effect of larger plaques on circulation was compensated by the positive effect of stability and a greater vessel diameter.

However, the long-term use of anticoagulants (in this case, low molecular weight heparin) reversed these advantages. The size of the plaques was reduced, but stability was lost, increasing the risk of complications.

Caution advised when prescribing anticoagulants

“Our findings were made on mice, but they confirm the results of clinical studies on humans,” says Dr. Isermann. “In addition, in vitro studies show that human cells react similarly to mouse cells.” The team assumes that the results can be transferred to humans and recommends weighing the advantages and disadvantages of anticoagulants carefully before administering them to a patient. “Currently,” continues Dr. Isermann, “there is no indication that these new observations also apply to drugs that inhibit the function of platelets.”

When deciding on therapy, the cause of the coagulation disorder and the degree of already existing atherosclerosis should be taken into consideration. Additionally, they recommend using anticoagulants that inhibit specific coagulation factors in order to preserve the positive effects on plaque stability. Various new drugs that inhibit specific coagulation factors are currently being studied in clinical trials. “It is important,” says Dr. Isermann, “that plaque stability and the influence on atherogenesis are also studied in these trials.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Hospital Heidelberg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stefanie Seehaus, Khurrum Shahzad, Muhammed Kashif, Ilya A. Vinnikov, Martin Schiller, Hongjie Wang, Thati Madhusudhan, Volker Eckstein, Angelika Bierhaus, Florian Bea, Erwin Blessing, Hartmut Weiler, David Frommhold, Peter P Nawroth, and Berend Isermann. Hypercoagulability inhibits monocyte transendothelial migration through PAR-1, PLC?, PI3K, and NO-dependent signaling in monocytes and promotes plaque stability. Circulation, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University Hospital Heidelberg. "Why 'Thick' Blood Protects From A Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824115807.htm>.
University Hospital Heidelberg. (2009, August 25). Why 'Thick' Blood Protects From A Heart Attack. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824115807.htm
University Hospital Heidelberg. "Why 'Thick' Blood Protects From A Heart Attack." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090824115807.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins