Decreased Thrombin Activity of Fibrin Clots Prepared in Cord Plasma Compared with Adult Plasma
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We hypothesized that the immaturity of the newborn coagulation system may influence the procoagulant activity of clotbound thrombin. 125I-Labeled fibrin clots were prepared from adult and cord plasma, incubated in their respective plasmas, and fibrinopeptide A (FPA) production was measured. Cord plasma clots generated significantly less FPA compared with adult plasma clots (p < 0.001). Cord plasma clots incubated in adult plasma generated similar amounts of FPA as cord plasma clots in cord plasma. Adult plasma clots incubated in cord plasma clots generated more FPA than adult plasma clots in adult plasma. Adult and cord plasma clots were then incubated with purified human adult fibrinogen, and the discrepancy between adult and newborn plasma clots remained (p < 0.01). To compare the amount of clot bound thrombin, adult and cord plasma clots were sonicated and incubated with fibrinogen. Again, significantly less thrombin was seen in cord clots compared with adult clots (p < 0.01). Because cord plasma has lower prothrombin concentrations (0.5 U/mL) we increased cord plasma prothrombin concentration by the addition of purified prothrombin. Prothrombin supplemented cord plasma clots generated more thrombin than unsupplemented clots (p < 0.01) and in amounts similar to the adult system. In conclusion, decreased amounts of thrombin present in cord plasma clots compared with adult plasma clots results in less FPA production. The low plasma concentration of prothrombin in cord plasma is responsible for this phenomenon.
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