Anticoagulant Effects of Heparin in Neonatal Plasma'
- Additional Document Info
- View All
Available data on the anticoagulant effects of heparin in neonatal plasma are scarce and conflicting: relative to adult plasma, neonatal plasma has been reported to show both resistance as well as sensitivity to heparin. We explored this apparent paradox by comparing how well heparin accelerated inhibition of exogenous thrombin and prevented thrombin generation in defibrinated neonatal and adult plasmas. Using amidolytic assays, we determined the effects of heparin on 1) the neutralization of exogenous human alpha-thrombin and on 2) the formation of endogenous thrombin activity after contact activation and recalcification. Neonatal plasma proved resistant to heparin (0.05 U/mL) during inhibition of added thrombin (15 NIH U/mL). Inhibition of thrombin in heparinized neonatal plasma became as efficient as in adult plasma only after raising the AT III activity to normal adult values. However, de novo generation of thrombin activity was very susceptible to inhibition by heparin, even in neonatal plasmas with physiologically low AT III levels. Peak thrombin activity generated in neonatal plasma in the absence of heparin was 50% or less of peak adult activity, and this already reduced ability of neonatal plasma to generate thrombin activity upon prothrombin activation was further decreased by heparin (0.05-0.2 U/mL). We conclude that due to the neonatal AT III deficiency, added thrombin is inactivated less effectively by heparin in neonatal than in normal adult plasma. Yet, the generation of thrombin activity is impaired in neonatal plasma and easily suppressed by heparin. We speculate that newborn infants may be resistant to heparin therapy during overt thrombotic disease, when neutralization of abnormal thrombin activity is the therapeutic goal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
has subject area