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 August 1, 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 August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama 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:
from the past week

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